China-based ByteDance-owned TikTok has taken the social media world by storm and has emerged as a serious contender to the likes of Meta Platforms, Inc. META and Snap, Inc’s SNAP Snapchat.
TikTok, which is loved for its entertainment-focused short videos, is now increasingly presenting a new use case, according to New York Times.
Gen-Z is now reportedly using the video app as a search engine too.
TikTok’s “powerful algorithm,” levered to personalizing videos shown to a user based on his/her interactions with content, and the sense that real people are synthesizing and delivering information, rather than faceless websites have served to give the platform credibility as a search engine, the report said.
When searching for information about a restaurant in a locality, youngsters prefer taking cues from a real person talking about it rather than rely on long-winding written review, the Times said, citing a TikTok user.
The Chinese app’s emergence as a search tool is in line with the broader transformation happening in digital search, the report said. People now use Amazon, Inc. AMZN to search for products and Snapchat’s Snap Maps to locate local businesses, it noted.
Alphabet, Inc.’s GOOGL GOOG Google, which is currently the search leader, has taken note of competition gaining ground. A Google executive reportedly told a tech conference in July that the company’s studies have unearthed the fact that about 40% of the young people lean toward TikTok or Meta’s Instagram to locate a restaurant, rather than relying on Google.
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