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Is TikTok set to replace Youtube as Gen Z's search engine?

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TikTok’s popularity has grown massively in the last year, with downloads now reaching more than 2 billion. But how do users interact with the app?

TikTok isn’t a typical social media platform, it's an app that changes the videos you see based on how you interact with the content. You'll usually see videos based on your interests and that are personalized to what you like, which gives it a personal touch. And since TikTok is full of people, it has a more human quality than some other platforms might have.

It offers increasingly sophisticated search functionality, including the ability to search by sound, and its recommendation engine is reported to be more powerful than YouTube’s. Its power is not just in its unique functionality but also it’s reach. With 41% of Gen Z owning a smartphone (compared to 25% of Millennials), this group’s digital life begins from a young age and their digital preference evolves as they do.

Google has noticed TikTok is edging into its domain. Although Google said that young people weren't using this as a replacement for their search engine, at least one executive has remarked on the video app’s search capabilities.

TikTok's growth as a discovery tool is just one part of the broader transformation happening in the world of search. Google remains the world's most popular search engine, but people are increasingly turning to Amazon to buy products, Instagram to stay up-to-date on trends and Snap Maps to find local businesses. The digital world is constantly growing, with more ways available to find information than ever before.


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