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Gen Z prefers TikTok and Instagram for online searches, reveals Google’s internal data

TikTok & Instagram

The “short video” centric social media platforms have changed the course of the digital world, and this time, quite literally so! In its latest findings, Google has revealed that nearly 40 per cent of Gen Z users prefer to use TikTok and even Instagram for internet search instead of Google Search and Maps.

At the recently concluded FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech 2022, Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who also runs Google’s Knowledge and Information organization revealed that TikTok and Instagram have become the go-to platforms for many younger users for online searches.

“We keep learning, over and over again, that new internet users don’t have the expectations and the mindset that we have become accustomed to. The queries they ask are completely different,”  TechCrunch quoted Raghavan as saying.

Adding that users don’t tend to type in keywords but instead look to discover content in new, more immersive ways, he said, “In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram.”

Raghavan explained how younger people were generally interested in more “visually rich forms” of information discovery and that in the future, their demand for visual content will change Google Search.

Google confirmed to TechCrunch that Raghavan’s comments were based on internal research that involved a survey of U.S. users, ages 18 to 24. The data is not available in the public domain but may later be added to Google’s competition site.

Google also said that planning to make some changes to its search engine to appeal to a younger audience, including the ability for a user to pan their camera over an area and “instantly glean insights about multiple objects in a wider scene.”

TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media apps that revolutionized the video content space, forcing its competitors: Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat to roll out copycat video features in Reels, Shorts, and Spotlight.

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