TikTok, the popular short-form video app, is testing a new feature that integrates Google Search into its own in-app search results. The feature, currently being tested in select markets, allows users to search for the same terms on Google directly from TikTok’s search page.
TikTok is testing a feature that integrates Google Search into its in-app search results, signaling the app’s ambition to become a comprehensive online destination. The inclusion of Google Search highlights a shift in user behavior, with young users turning to social apps for their search needs. This behavior has implications for the ongoing antitrust trial against Google, as it demonstrates competition in the market.
Aiming to Become a Comprehensive Online Destination
As TikTok expands its offerings, it is clear that the app has ambitions beyond just being a platform for viral dance moves. Last week, it was reported that TikTok is also experimenting with incorporating Wikipedia entries into its search results. By integrating third-party services like Google Search and Wikipedia, TikTok aims to become a one-stop-shop for users’ online activities.
The Shift in User Behavior
The inclusion of Google Search within TikTok is particularly interesting due to a noticeable shift in user behavior. According to a Google executive, young users who would have traditionally used Google to search the internet are now turning to platforms like TikTok and Instagram instead. This change in behavior indicates that social apps are capturing a significant portion of users’ time, potentially making it unnecessary for young people to leave TikTok when searching for information.
Implications for Competition and the Antitrust Trial
The observation about user behavior also serves as a significant argument in Google’s ongoing antitrust trial. Google is currently facing the Justice Department in a trial focused on its search business and the competition in the market. By highlighting the shift in user preferences, Google is asserting that it faces healthy competition from platforms like TikTok.