It turns out that TikTok poses a threat to Google not only because of its competition with YouTube, but also with the company’s main services – search and maps.
According to the company’s own research, about 40% of young people use TikTok and Instagram to search instead of Google. Such data was shared by Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan during the FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech 2022 conference.
He admitted that “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” “Generation Z” does not search by keywords, but instead prefers to “discover” new content for themselves in “visual forms”.
Prabhakar Raghavan explained this with an example: “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.” According to him, today’s youth have never seen paper maps, and cartographic mobile applications still use the “paper map in a smartphone” approach.
Later, Google confirmed the words of its vice president, clarifying that these data were obtained during an internal study and refer to American Internet users aged 18 to 24 years. Among other things, this study found that 55% of all product inquiries are made on Amazon.
The “aging” of traditional search poses a serious threat to Google, as it affects the company’s core business, such as serving ads. It also suggests that Google’s initiatives, in particular, to organize the search for local businesses (restaurants/clubs, etc.) for young people “do not work”.
With this information in mind, Google’s efforts to make the maps more interactive and “immersive” with the addition of elements of augmented reality, etc. become clear. Raghavan also believes that the demand of young people to deal with visual content will gradually change Google Search as well.