TikTok has become a search engine for Gen Z

Shaun M Jooste


While TikTok launched as a platform for short videos, it seems today’s teenagers are using it as a search engine. When Gen Z users want to know where the best local clubs are or what music is trending, they’re no longer relying on Google or its Maps tool. Instead, they’re looking at what everyone else is recommending on TikTok and Instagram.


Prabhakar Raghavan is a senior vice president for the Google Search tool. According to a discussion held at Brainstorm Tech, recent surveys conducted in the United States with teens between the ages of 18 and 24, platforms like TikTok and Instagram provide more relevant information than Google for the modern age. They’re most helpful when looking for new recipes or DIY projects.

TikTok has become a search engine for Gen Z

I understand where they’re coming from. When I’m looking for bonsai images or styling ideas, I rely on Pinterest. For gaming news and reviews, I turn to reliable platforms or game news sites, such as Softonic, Steam, and Epic Games. For the most part, Google becomes a garble of accumulated content that you have to sift through for valuable information.

TikTok has become a search engine for Gen Z

Each social media platform has its benefits and purposes. When you’re wanting to promote or share something, you’re more likely to do so on places like Twitter or LinkedIn, depending on the topic. And for Gen Z, the place to look for the best restaurants or diners to eat is apparently TikTok and not Google Maps. Go figure.

It feels like only yesterday that governments were analyzing TikTok’s security protocols, and now, it’s one of the top social search engines. Of course, it’s too early for it to spell the doom of Google. After all, we’re sure the company will use this information in its favor to find new ways to boost its algorithms or searches.

Governments are scrutinizing TikTok’s data READ MORE

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