Get In Touch
9th Floor, Atrium on 5th Building, 5th Street, Sandhurst, Sandton, 2196
Work Inquiries

Study Shows TikTok as a Preferred Search Engine for Gen Z

A study by Adobe has revealed that Gen Z internet users are increasingly using TikTok as a search engine; hence pushing businesses to align their marketing strategies to engage younger users.

TikTok has become a preferred choice for younger audience who are looking for information, recipes, music and more.

The research survey, involving 808 consumers and 251 business owners to explore how TikTok is impacting search behaviour and marketing strategies, resulted in the following takeaways:

  • More than 2 in 5 people in US use TikTok as a search engine.
  • 1 in 10 Gen Zers prefer TikTok over Google as a search engine.
  • Over 54% of business owners use TikTok to promote their business and services.
  • 1 in 4 small business owners use TikTok influencers to sell or promote their products and services.

When asked the question “Have consumers ever used TikTok as a search engine?”, 59% answered “No”, while 41% answered “Yes”.

Segmented by generation of internet users, 64% of Gen Z (people born after 1996), 49% of millennials (people born between 1981 – 1996), 29% of Gen X (people born between 1965 – 1980) and 14% of Baby boomers (people born between 1946 – 1964) use TikTok as a search tool when looking for things that are of interest to them. They use TikTok mostly to find new recipes, new music, DIY tips, fashion advice, workout routines, beauty advice, among several others.

In an age where social media platforms evolve rapidly, TikTok has emerged not just as an entertainment hub but also as a search engine. Driven by a desire to understand this shift, we dove deep into how consumers use TikTok for their search needs and how businesses are pivoting their strategies to capitalize on this trend, the reported stated.

Why TikTok has a wider appeal among Consumers

TikTok’s strongest selling point is in its ability to deliver unique, personalised short videos that are easy to digest. It is the main reason why consumers prefer the platform over traditional search engines like Google. This was confirmed in the research by 44% of the respondents.

Among the top 5 reasons why consumers prefer TikTok include the short video format (44%), the storytelling aspects (34%), personalised content (31%), current information (29%), interactive and immersive (29%).

Leading the pack of content preferred by consumers was video tutorials (62%), followed by product reviews (39%), personal stories (38%), among others.

Another big TikTok’s appeal is how it tailors content to each user’s interests. About 40% of Gen Z users enjoy TikTok videos aligned to their personal preferences.

Businesses Harnessing TikTok for Success

TikTok is gaining traction among business owners who are learning and optimising the terrain to meet consumer search intent. Entrepreneurs are leveraging the platform to reach customers who are searching for products or services. They are using mostly video tutorials, creative tangential content related to company product.

More than half of the businesses surveyed are posting content on average 9 times every month. Using influencer marketing, 25% of business owners are collaborating with TikTok influencers to increase user engagement.

More and more businesses are joining TikTok, with 53% of owners looking to increase their ad budget on the platform, despite challenges of consistently increasing engagement rates.

Dan is a Digital Strategist at - responsible for creating strategies to generate marketing leads for clients, utilizing a wide range of online marketing techniques including search; SEO and PPC. If he is not marketing, selling or analyzing data, he is playing soccer, cycling or traveling.

This website stores cookies on your computer. Cookie Policy