Is Social Media the New Search Engine?
A Google official recently revealed that nearly 40 percent of Gen Zers prefer TikTok and Instagram over Google as a search engine. This means that rather than searching for something on Google such as a new restaurant to go to, a product to use, or where to travel on vacation, users are opting for TikTok instead due to the visual results they will receive in the form of short videos.
This new finding only adds to TikTok’s steady dominance over other social networks as the fastest-growing social media app, especially for Gen Z audiences.
With short-form video content taking over, this has given way to features like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts and Snapchat Spotlight which are all alternatives the type of content that TikTok provides. While Google might have previously been deemed as the go-to search engine for all audiences, this data puts that in jeopardy.
Instagram is taking it a step further with their search tool as well with the recent introduction of a map feature on the Explore tab that can help users find restaurants, hotels and other spots.
This evolution of social medias as a search engine only amplifies the presence of influencer marketing online and will surely help benefit influencers and the brands that prioritize them in marketing.
So, how will Google react to these stats and make their search engine more attractive to Gen Z audiences? Many think that the response will be a feature that offers a more immersive and visual results page for both Google Search and Google Maps. Whatever the response may be, it must be strong to take on the challenge of winning over Gen Z.