Young Internet users are increasingly turning to TikTok and Instagram to start web searches

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,332   +163
Staff member
In a nutshell: YouTube isn't the only Google-owned service attempting to remain relevant in an age dominated by social media. Two of the company's core products – Search and Maps – are increasingly falling out of favor with youth using social media in ways you might never have considered.

During the recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2022 conference in Aspen, Colorado, Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan said they keep learning that new Internet users don't have the same expectations and mindset that we've become accustomed to.

"The queries they ask are completely different," the executive added.

Raghavan noted that in Google studies, they are seeing roughly 40 percent of young people turning to TikTok or Instagram when searching for a place to have lunch. "They don't go to Google Maps or Search," he said.

TechCrunch reached out to Google, and a spokesperson confirmed that Raghavan's figured were based on internal research involving a study of US Internet users between 18 and 24. The data from the study hasn't been made public yet, but it could eventually find its way to Google's competition site at a later date.

As the publication correctly highlights, this could become a serious problem for Google. The company has spent decades and countless sums of money to fine-tune its recommendation algorithms for Search and to gather data for Maps. It also makes a lot of money from ads sold against Search queries.

That said, don't expect Google to sit around and watch the world pass it by. The tech titan is constantly evolving behind the scenes to meet users along their journey. "We have to conjure up completely new expectations and that takes altogether new… technology underpinnings," Raghavan said.

Image credit: Kai Wenzel, Firmbee

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Dsirius

Posts: 250   +468
So this is one of the real reason US govern is afraid of TikTok and wants to ban it in USA?
 

terzaerian

Posts: 1,488   +2,200
I like how the article is blaming this on the ascendancy of TikTok and Instagram and not Google's own bad behavior. Save for YouTube and the bare minimum backends for Android I'm not using any Google service daily anymore. Looking into alternative phone OSes is my next project.
 

veLa

Posts: 1,168   +837
Google search has been broken for the last couple years. You basically have to game the searches by appending something like "reddit" or "forums" or "2020" to find things that are relevant to specific searches anymore. It still works great if you need to find a restaurant or hotel, but anything really specific, don't hold your breath.

Don't even get me started on the garbage that YouTube's search has turned into..
 

BuckarooBonzai

Posts: 139   +102
The younger people know what they want. They want experiences from people in their own peers to find things and know what is good and what is not and not from old farts which includes Google.
 

winjer

Posts: 458   +2,103
A year ago I stooped using Google, and I don't miss it.
It's result's are now so skewed, that I can honestly say Google is no longer the best search engine.
And youtube search is even worse.

The days when Google was the definitive search engine are over, they peaked several years ago, and quality is in a downward trend.
 

Sathi43

Posts: 52   +63
"That said, don't expect Google to sit around and watch the world pass it by"

You mean like Google+ for social media and Google cardboard 😏 for VR? Google has good engineering to make technically sound products. Understanding general consumer is where Google grossly falls short. There is nothing stopping other players coming out and eating their lunch.
 

James Ryan

Posts: 22   +38
I haven't been using Google search for about 5 years now. I'm usually switching between Ecosia and DuckDuckGo. Haven't had any issues plus Ecosia actually does something decent for the world. YouTube search is also useless as everyone here has stated. Instagram and TikTok along with Facebook will give even worse results and pretty much just opinions.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 9,088   +8,126
I recently read (& tried) an article about building your own search engine. Seems to work OK and a bit faster than the big boys. Unfortunately no way to directly check it but from all indications it is doing exactly what it claims ....
 

George Keech

Posts: 250   +431
The younger people know what they want. They want experiences from people in their own peers to find things and know what is good and what is not and not from old farts which includes Google.
The issue is not how you digest content for me. the issue is the reliability of the content and given the amount of crap on TikTok that does not seem a reliable source. we where always told Wikipedia was unreliable. Compared to TikTok it a bloody reviewed dissertation a lot of the time
 

thelatestmodel

Posts: 233   +218
I literally don't understand this thought process at all

Tiktok is not a search engine

If I want an instructional video I "might" search YouTube, otherwise, you should use an actual search engine
 

BuckarooBonzai

Posts: 139   +102
The issue is not how you digest content for me. the issue is the reliability of the content and given the amount of crap on TikTok that does not seem a reliable source. we where always told Wikipedia was unreliable. Compared to TikTok it a bloody reviewed dissertation a lot of the time
Yes you are correct there too, reliability of content. :)
 
I read the headline as. Young *****S are increasingly turning to TikTok and Instagram to start web searches

Wonder why?.
 

Inthenstus

Posts: 126   +181
Google is like the main stream media, they force feed you crap that you don’t want to see, they spy on you, and removed “Don’t be evil” from their business model. No thanks!
 

Srksi

Posts: 20   +13
Im watching one channel 95% of time when I use cell, but funny, youtube never bothers to put it on my recommendation list cos its not monetized. Greed will kill google eventually, not today, not tomorrow, but will some day for sure