TikTok as a Search Tool

14 January 2024

Shall we be bidding farewell to Google? 

TikTok is causing a furor throughout the world and Portugal is home to 3.3 million active monthly users. This number encapsulates the very significant growth in this platform, becoming one of the most commonly used social networks, especially among the younger generation.


The Exponential Growth of TikTok in Portugal

According to a recent report on the digital universe in Portugal, TikTok occupies a leading position with 46% of monthly users. This rise has been enabled by the loss of influence of Facebook, especially in the younger audiences. Entertainment is one of the main pulls attracting users to TikTok, with 4 in every 5 users considering it extremely funny according to data from 2023. In addition, 92% of users state having felt some kind of emotion while using the platform.

It is important to note that TikTok already counted 1.8 million users in Portugal in 2020, achieving an exponential level of growth in just a few years. Thus, the digital scenario evolved and TikTok emerged as a crucial tool winning over individual and corporate users wishing to position themselves in digital environments. The platform became an essential channel for searching for information, especially among younger audiences, consolidating its position with a strong dynamic of news occurring in real-time and searches on activities and locations, exemplified by that popular search term “what to do in…”.

TikTok as a Search Platform

TikTok is challenging all conventions in becoming a leading search platform even rivaling Google in certain particular contexts. The effectiveness of TikTok stems from its refined SEO, driving short and highly focused videos. People, especially the young, are adopting this platform not just for entertainment but also as a source of real-time information.

Are we saying farewell to Google?

Despite Google remaining a solid benchmark, the rise of TikTok in the small universe of online searches is undeniable. Generation Z, accounting for almost 40% of users who now opt for TikTok or Instagram to search for information, which inevitably questions the dominance of Google.

Nevertheless, it would be premature to declare the end of an era. Google remains an incontestable heavyweight and a fundamental tool to many. However, the rise of TikTok as a search alternative highlights the need to remain highly attentive to the change ongoing in digital preferences.

Therefore, the era of Google may not have ended but it is undoubtedly facing challenges. The extent to which we explore new forms of digital interaction is vital when reflecting on how platforms such as TikTok are shaping our online behaviours and thereby encouraging us to think critically about the future of search in the digital era.



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