Trends change over time. And for now, it looks like Google’s glory days are over because Google is no longer the irreplaceable search engine or the first thought that comes to people’s minds the moment they have a doubt or are at a loss. looking for something fact or information. TikTok, the top-rated Chinese app, is slowly becoming Google’s preferred substitute and a favorite choice of Gen Zers who are far too busy to flick through Google. Well, when they can have instant information without the added hassle of reading and processing information, why wouldn’t they choose TikTok?
The Gen Z favorite
Who would have thought that a video application would soon replace the invincible search engine? And yet, we are witnessing here that the younger generation is turning their backs on Google and embracing TikTok. This growing trend has not gone unnoticed by Google. A senior vice president of the company, Prabhakar Raghavan acknowledged the fact that more than 40% of Gen Z people prefer TikTok or Instagram to Google to search for information.
One of the main reasons for this drastic change is the quality of TikTok’s content, which makes it more reliable for users. Whereas TikTok is used as the main news sourceGoogle has been reduced to the status of a simple tool for confirming facts.
“Before, whenever I had a doubt about something, I immediately went to Google, but now I go to TikTok first, because I trust it more, and because of the quality of the content. It’s only when I’m not convinced, or when I can’t find what I’m looking for, that I use Google, and the truth is, that rarely happens,” says Rosa Rodriguez, 22, a TikTok user.
The main factor that makes TikTok a favorite among Gen Z is its speed and the added convenience of not having to read fact paragraphs. Because where Google takes paragraphs and paragraphs to explain something, TikTok does it in seconds through a video. In a generation that is behind instant solutions, the popularity of an app like TikTok is inevitable. The inherent visual element of videos and the allure of seeing things for yourself through videos makes TikTok all the more intriguing for users. Maybe author Fatima Martinez isn’t wrong when she says TikTok has revolutionized everything.
However, the growing popularity of TikTok also points to a generation that is thought-weary and prefers to live by the visual instead of actually thinking and reflecting. Looking back may have already become a thing of the past. Professor Ubaldo Cuesta thinks that our society is moving “toward a liquid modernity and superficial thinking”, as the Polish philosopher Bauman said. Cuesta is also of the opinion that the younger generation nowadays has become “Homo videns: the man who lives by the image”.
Brevity and speed and all the visual appeal of the present moment have made TikTok an unbeatable opponent for Google, and to become a worthy competitor, Google has no choice but to adapt.