TikTok vs. Google; Why People are Loving the Social Media Platform

On TikTok, typing a few keywords can get you a thousand answers. Curious about where to find the best pizza place in your area? Just type’ best pizza in *your area*’. Need help updating your skincare routine? Simply search ‘skincare routine 2023.’ Want to know the latest issue on Selena Gomez and Hailey Bieber? You won’t even have to search; it will just pop directly on your FYP.

Undeniably, TikTok, aside from being a social media application, has also been serving as a search engine for its users. The all-famous app boasts of its capacity to become a place for tutorials, ideas, tips, and many more.

Last year, TikTok ended Google’s 15-year streak of being the most popular web domain worldwide. According to Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, their studies revealed that 40% of its audience from the younger sector goes to TikTok or Instagram when looking for a place for lunch.

Aside from statistics, netizens have also expressed their opinions on TikTok being the best option as a search engine. According to its users, there are a lot of reasons for this, and here are some of them:

  1. Visuals and short-length content

The main reason people turn to TikTok when it comes to searching is that it offers visuals. It is easier to follow or understand something when videos accompany it. It can capture and show a restaurant’s ambiance, a person’s facial expression, and an object’s appearance, among others. This makes it easier for people to decide where to go, what to choose, how to perform a task, etc.

In addition, the videos being made in short form is also one of the main reasons users prefer TikTok. Who wouldn’t? In under ten minutes, one can learn how to braid their hair, assemble a table, prepare for a job interview, and so on.

  1. Results and reactions

Most netizens also mention that TikTok videos show the results of a process and reactions of content creators. They can see in the creators’ reactions and facial expressions if the food tastes terrible, if a place smells good, or if the instructions are successful and helpful, unlike in Google, where there are usually only tips and steps.

  1. Customization and Collections

TikTok is also extremely helpful in the customization and collection of videos. Recently, they added a feature where a user could save videos in collections and sort them by categories.

If a person stumbles upon a video that might help them in the future, they can save it in a collection. This makes it easier to access videos that they have watched before. For example, if a user plans to go overseas in the holidays and sees a travel-tips video, they can save it under the ‘travel’ collection.

Modern times call for modern measures. One would think that Google has it all (literally), but people will still look for things that are easier to navigate. With this, companies are forced to make things more convenient. In this case, TikTok made it too convenient, and that’s what makes it stand out.

I am a student-journalist pursuing a bachelor's degree in Journalism at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. My experiences mostly revolve around campus publications that helped and prepared me to pursue a writing and editing career.

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