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Is TikTok becoming the world’s biggest search engine?

Over the past decade, Google has been the world’s biggest search engine. The total amount of Google searches that take place every year is unknown, but it is estimated that there are roughly two trillion Google searches yearly. This means that on average, everyone uses Google three to four times every day. But TikTok may dethrone Google as the number one search engine. TikTok is currently the world’s most popular website and more and more people use the platform as their preferred search engine.

Is TikTok becoming the world’s biggest search engine

The Growth of TikTok

TikTok was launched in 2016 by ByteDance, a start-up company in China. The platform was known as Douyin in China and was introduced as TikTok in 2017 when it expanded outside of China. The company then bought Musical.ly, which was a platform similar to TikTok. Musical.ly and TikTok merged in 2018 and this resulted in TikTok having more downloads than Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube respectively. By 2020, TikTok had over two billion downloads worldwide and was the seventh most visited website at the time. By the end of 2021, Cloudfare, an IT security company, announced that TikTok had become the most popular website and knocked Google off its number one ranking.

People Prefer TikTok Over Google

People Prefer TikTok Over Google

Although Google has been the leading search engine for over a decade, TikTok has become the preferred search engine for some. More and more people have shorter attention spans on the internet. TikTok solves this problem as it allows content that is short and informative. Many people also prefer visual content over textual content. Google does offer visual content, but it has to be searched for, while TikTok offers it immediately. Often the content on TikTok offers the information needed visually and with audio that explains it.

People have also chosen to use TikTok as a search engine as Google does not always provide the results they are looking for. Due to clickbait and improper SEO practices, the search results that appear at the top may not always be correct or desired. This is why some people choose to use TikTok.

TikTok May Not Be The Most Reliable Search Engine

Although TikTok offers more direct information that can be consumed easier than text on Google, it is not the most reliable source. Anyone can upload content onto TikTok which may cause the spread of false information or fake news. Not all information uploaded onto TikTok is false information, but the platform should be used to learn about trends, recipes, and less serious topics rather than using it to find quotable information.

Digital Marketers Can Take Advantage Of This

As TikTok has dethroned Google as the most popular website, it has become a big competitor for all other major websites. Because of this, TikTok has offered a range of new opportunities to digital marketers. TikTok focuses on short-form video content and this is what digital marketers should add to their content strategy when tackling TikTok.

Digital Marketers Can Take Advantage Of This

The Bottom Line

Although TikTok is currently the world’s most popular website and one of the most popular search engines, it is unlikely that TikTok would become the world’s largest search engine. This is due to the fact that the validity of the content uploaded onto TikTok is often not verified, which means that the information received from TikTok will not always be credible. TikTok may become the world’s largest search engine if the content uploaded onto the platform is verified.

What’s all the hype about TikTok, is it a viable marketing channel yet?

TikTok Article

You’ve heard about TikTok before, but how can we use the platform as marketers to expand our reach? In this blog we cover the basics of TikTok and different ways how ads can be executed on the app.

What is TikTok?

In case you have been living under a rock, TikTok is a simple to use mobile app that allows users to upload and edit short form videos ranging from one second up to three minutes. It has become what SnapChat and Instagram had hoped they could become: The next best and biggest thing in video creation – the first of its kind on Western platforms that is arguably the perfect adaptation of YouTube in a short mobile form.

Who uses TikTok?

A Vox report suggests that in 2018-2019, the app was largely used by users based in the U.S.A. with teenagers (10-19 years old) dominating the app. However, the user base is expanding as can been seen this graph published by Statista which shows user-by-age stats in the U.S.A. in March 2021 which shows that older people are beginning to access the app,

and users can take any approach from storytelling, DIY-ing to mundane everyday life.

Distibution of TikTok users

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1095186/tiktok-us-users-age/


Why is TikTok so popular?

The platform offers instant gratification. The app itself is both fun and easy to use. TikTok’s in-app tools allow users to easily add music, filters, captions and hashtags which inspires them to be creative and set trends of their own. What makes it even more exciting is the ability to go viral overnight. Going viral is what makes TikTok’s “duet” feature quite exciting. Users also use this tool to post reactions to other users’ videos. This leads to a chain reaction of duets and has made for some hilarious content and has also contributed to how content becomes trendy. What is also quite gripping about TikTok is how easy it is to join trends as users often post tutorials on how others can execute trending dances.

Source: https://media.giphy.com/media/eKNvgaaBcNJQ9y4OyD/source.mp4

TikTok Ads: Is it viable (and if so, how)?

But is it a viable marketing channel yet? Definitely. The platform works so incredibly fast that in a matter of just 3 days, Dior’s 001 Rose Blush went viral – thousands of users purchased, reviewed and applauded the product under the assumption it was famous billionaire Kylie Jenner’s go-to. Likewise, many other brands in the beauty industry have seen the same surge in sales due to TikTok. It seems the opportunities are limitless and there is room for every industry to thrive. The chances of going organically viral on the app are endless, but the question remains, “how do we as marketers make use of the platform in paid TikTok Ads?”

Here are a few simple ways:

  1. Brand Takeover
    A 3-second static image or 3-5 second video without audio that shows on app launch. This is great for brand awareness videos but can be very expensive.
    TikTok Challenge
  2. Top View Ads
    60-second ads that appear after 3 seconds as your first in feed post and include audio and a custom link.
  3. In Feed Ads
    As the name implies is an ad that appears in the users “for you” feed.
  4. Branded Hashtags
    This format encourages user generated content by using the product in a unique way and adding the branded hashtag. (Note this may not actually be the brand name but will likely be related to the brand e.g. #imlovinit). The video is added to the hashtag challenge page which other users can view. According to NoGood, this format of advertising on TikTok has seen an average engagement rate of 8.5%.
    Branded Hashtags
  5. Branded Effects, Sounds and Filters
    This form of advertising is not new to social media platforms. Long before TikTok, brands were using their own branded filters and effects on SnapChat and Instagram. Branded stickers, filters and special effects are created for users to add to their own videos.


Instantly gratifying, always new, incredibly addictive. TikTokers are highly engaged and user generated content is the order of the day. The real question is not should you be marketing on TikTok but rather why are you not already?