May TikTok Be A Search Engine? For Many Customers, It Already Is


TikTok was noticed testing a brand new search function, elevating questions on its viability as a search engine.

Apparently, many individuals already use it as one.

In keeping with a screenshot shared on Twitter, TikTok is beginning to present steered search phrases when viewing a video’s remark part.

To be taught extra about this function, I explored Twitter to see if anybody else was speaking about it.

Finally, I wished to reply the query: ‘What if individuals began utilizing TikTok as a search engine?

As a substitute, I found an entire phase of individuals treating TikTok as a search supplier, with some even preferring it over Google.

The query shortly turned from ‘what if” to ‘what now?

We’re previous the purpose of questioning whether or not TikTok has potential as a search platform. The customers determine, and more and more flip to TikTok for his or her info wants.

However what are the implications for digital entrepreneurs?

‘TikTok Is Proving To Be A Higher Search Engine Than Google’

The above heading is a quote from a viral tweet from final month.

It’s unclear whether or not the tweet obtained over 110K likes and 14K retweets as a result of audacious comparability between TikTok and Google, or as a result of individuals agree with the assertion.

The replies and quote tweets recommend it’s a mixture of each. Right here’s a have a look at what persons are saying.

Why Are Individuals Utilizing TikTok As A Search Engine?

The rising use of TikTok as a search engine stems from a number of components:

  • Brief consideration spans
  • Unsatisfactory Google outcomes
  • Visible studying kinds

We have now turn into lazy. We wish visuals,‘ reads considered one of the highest replies — demonstrating how brief consideration spans contribute to the recognition of TikTok search.

Another excuse why individuals search for info in non-traditional engines like google like TikTok is that they’re not glad with Google’s outcomes.

A high reply to the viral tweet suggests the standard of Google outcomes isn’t what it was once:

“Omg Google was once so highly effective however is so pointless now. Helpful outcomes are buried pages deep. 95% of the solutions they put within the drop down menus on the high of search outcomes are flat out simply unsuitable, usually not even associated to the query being requested.”

It additionally comes all the way down to studying kinds, as some people retain info higher when introduced in a visible format.

And whereas customers can get visible and textual info on Google, as one Twitter person factors out, it requires taking a look at a number of items of content material to get what you want.

“They offer a video clarification and proof multi functional, it explains and breaks it down. Google be wanting me to click on too many hyperlinks.”

As I went down the rabbit gap of tweet replies, I uncovered one other piece of proof that search preferences are shifting.

Paul Allen, CEO of and founding father of, ran a ballot on LinkedIn a couple of months in the past asking his community in the event that they “know any younger individuals who use TikTok or Instagram Reels as their main search engine.”

1 / 4 of respondents mentioned sure.

Arguments In opposition to TikTok As A Search Engine

You’ll get a distinct perspective for those who verify the quote tweets for the viral tweet that began this complete dialogue, the place it seems the individuals in opposition to the concept of TikTok as a search engine outnumber those that help it.

Because of the colourful language used, I can’t share many unfavourable opinions right here. Nonetheless, it’s protected to take a position that naysayers are passionate of their beliefs that TikTok search isn’t appropriate for maintaining with present information and occasions.

That’s as a result of they don’t belief TikTok as a supply, alleging that the app spreads misinformation. That occurs to be a sentiment shared by a majority of United States customers.

Research present People belief Google considerably greater than TikTok, which was discovered to be essentially the most distrusted tech large.

The consensus appears to be that TikTok search is extra appropriate for locating ideas, tendencies, recipes, hobbies, and details about much less critical matters.

What Does TikTok As A Search Engine Imply For Digital Entrepreneurs?

A shift towards TikTok as a search engine is value listening to for those who work with social media.

TikTok is quickly changing into a risk to different social media websites, and even to Google.

In late 2021, TikTok topped Google because the hottest area. In Q1 2022, TikTok was the most downloaded app worldwide throughout all classes.

Tech giants are conscious of the risk TikTok poses and are responding by doubling down on short-form video.

Google has been pushing Net Tales and YouTube Shorts, whereas Meta is making Reels an integral part of Fb and Instagram.

Brief-form video is having fun with a renaissance throughout the net, and it’s not simply TikTok the place individuals go to seek for it. On YouTube, which can also be usually used as a search engine, brief movies are actually producing 30 billion views per day.

For entrepreneurs, it’s time to contemplate responding to the demand for short-form video by including it to your content material technique.

The demand for TikTok-like content material isn’t about to decelerate any time quickly, and help for the format from Google and different tech giants is at an all-time excessive.

Now’s an opportune time to department out and get in entrance of recent clients by diversifying your content material output.

Insights From SEJ Specialists

I reached out to trade veterans on the Search Engine Journal group for his or her perception into TikTok as a search engine, because it’s not the primary time this has occurred to a social media web site.

I requested Brent Csutoras, a Managing Companion: What ought to be performed in response to this paradigm shift, if something?

“As a marketer, a part of your job is to search out the place individuals inform tales that affect your target market,” he defined. “Find out how efficient storytelling is going on on that platform, after which take part with your individual tales in a manner that your new viewers will respect and finally settle for and interact with.”

Csutoras continued, “We have now seen social combination websites turn into engines like google all through the years, from the times of Scrumptious, all through the years with Reddit and YouTube, and now with TikTok. Anywhere the place customers start trying to find content material via search frequently is a spot the place entrepreneurs ought to be listening to and collaborating inside, as long as they’ve a significant story to inform that viewers.”

In Abstract

No matter how you’re feeling about individuals looking on TikTok, they’re doing it, and a few are even utilizing it as an alternative of Google.

So if that’s the place your viewers goes, that’s the place it’s essential be.

That doesn’t imply it’s essential abandon the content material you’re at present making. As a substitute, take into consideration how one can make that content material discoverable on TikTok.

One route many publishers are going is repurposing conventional content material; for instance, adapting internet articles for short-form movies.

Individuals trying to find that subject on TikTok will discover the video, and in the event that they need to be taught greater than what might be communicated in a brief clip, they’ll go to the writer’s web site.

As Csutoras mentioned: It’s not not like the evolution of social networks prior to now. It’s only a completely different medium.

Featured Picture: Diego Thomazini/Shutterstock


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