The news: TikTok is evolving beyond entertainment, with consumers using it as a search engine for information, recipes, music, and more, per an Adobe study.
- Nearly 10% of Gen Z users now prefer TikTok over established search engines like Google when looking for information—suggesting it is gaining trust and usability as a reliable source of information.
- This follows a recent HerCampus study finding that 74% of Gen Z internet users use TikTok for search and 51% favor it over Google, primarily due to its short-form video format.
The platform is leaning into this trend. In September, TikTok began testing third-party features like integrating Google Search in addition to incorporating Wikipedia entries into its search results to expand its offerings beyond short-form video.
Why it matters: The rise of TikTok as a search engine holds considerable significance in the digital landscape.
- The study shows that 40% of consumers use TikTok for information, with the app being especially popular among younger generations, as 64% of Gen Z and 49% of millennials do so. This highlights TikTok's importance for businesses targeting these demographics.
- TikTok is not limited to a specific niche; it has become a go-to platform for a wide range of topics. From cooking recipes, favored 29% more by Gen Z than millennials, to music, DIY ideas, fashion, and more, TikTok caters to a diverse set of interests. This versatility makes it a one-stop destination for users seeking various types of information.
- The study emphasizes video tutorials as the top choice for 62% of TikTok users, with 39% and 38% favoring reviews and personal anecdotes, respectively. This underscores the need for captivating video content on TikTok.
- In the future, over 53% of businesses intend to boost their investment in TikTok marketing, recognizing its effectiveness despite engagement and content creation challenges.
Our take: TikTok’s rising use for search signifies a fundamental shift in how people find information and engage with content. Its personalized approach, diverse content, and trustworthiness fuel its rapid growth.
- For businesses, TikTok offers a valuable avenue to connect with younger audiences and become industry authorities.
- TikTok's transformation into a search engine isn't a fleeting trend; businesses and content creators can employ it to remain relevant. Prioritizing user experience and creative content will likely translate to success.