40% of Americans use TikTok as a search engine now – here are 4 reasons why

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When YouTube became popular, people began turning to it for reviews, tutorials, and more — instead of a typical search engine. Similarly, more and more Americans, including myself, are using TikTok as a search engine.

According to an Adobe report, over two in five Americans use TikTok as a search engine, with one in 10 Gen Zers relying on it more than Google. 

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When TikTok first launched, it was mainly a vertical video entertainment app where people posted dancing videos, skits, and trends. However, with time, it evolved into a platform where people share everything from candid reviews to favorite recipes and more, all in short video form. 

For that reason, if you need information on something fast, searching on TikTok often can be the most efficient alternative because you can get the information you were looking for in a bite-sized morsel with some personality. 

Moreover, when asked why consumers used TikTok instead of traditional search engines, 44% said the short video format is more informative and digestible, 34% said they enjoyed the storytelling aspect of TikTok videos, 31% said the content is more personalized, and 29% said the information is more current. 

In particular, when using TikTok as a search engine, 36% of users have looked for new recipes, 35% for new music, 34% for DIY tips, 30% for fashion advice, 29% for workout routines and beauty advice, and 26% for product recommendations. 

2024 Adobe Survey


Despite its popularity, TikTok still trails behind Google, YouTube, and Bing as the platform consumers find the most useful when looking for information. 

If you want to try it for yourself, all you have to do is enter — in your TikTok search bar — the term you want more information about, and the results will be videos on that topic. For example, some terms you can search are “easy air fryer recipes,” “ten-minute ab workout,” or “iPhone 15 review”. 

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