TikTok makes searching easier than ever.
TikTok’s search widget is now available for iPhone users and provides you with a shortcut to search. So instead of opening the app and Then When you click the search button and tap the widget, you will be automatically taken to the TikTok search screen. It saves you a maximum of 5 seconds, but suggests that the platform is doubling down on its status as a search engine. Gen Z members told Mashable they use TikTok to find recipes, travel advice, and workouts.
For Gen Z, TikTok is more than just entertainment. It’s a search engine.
TikTok hinted at its desire to be recognized as a search engine with an advert that ran in the UK earlier this year with the slogan “Search it with TikTok”. And now, with its silent launch, TikTok squarely competes with Google’s own search widget.
TikTok’s focus is on search after Google’s Prabhakar Raghavan, a senior vice president in charge of Google search, informed that a study conducted by the company last summer was conducted(opens in a new tab) found that 40% of 18-24 year olds in the US use TikTok or Instagram instead of Google search to look for places to eat lunch.
TikTok is also a place where people search for news. A survey conducted by Ofcom last summer found that TikTok is the fastest growing adult news source in the UK. However, an investigation conducted by News Guard late last year found that searches of TikTok pointed to misinformation nearly 20 percent of the time. To be taken seriously as a search engine, TikTok needs to address its rampant misinformation problem.