Over the past decade, social media platforms have transformed from being simply a means of connecting with friends and family to a vital source of information for users. With over 4 billion active social media users worldwide, social networks are rapidly becoming the new search engines.
Traditionally, search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have been the go-to sources for people looking for information on the internet. However, with the meteoric rise of social media, users are beginning to turn to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn to search for information, products, and services.
Gen Z has been turning to platforms like TikTok for more than just entertainment. In fact, a recent study has shown that Gen Z prefers to use TikTok instead of Google for search.
A main reason for this shift is the way social media platforms are designed, offering personalized experiences with feeds and timelines tailored to individual users based on their interests and behaviors. This means when users search on a social network, they are presented with relevant results based on their preferences, search history, and connections.
Social networks have also made it easier for businesses to reach their target audiences. Companies can target specific audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. This means that businesses can reach potential customers on social media that may not yet have found them through traditional search engines.
1. TikTok's algorithm offers a more personalized experience. The app's "For You" page displays content based on the user's interests and behaviors, making it easier to discover new information and topics. As users engage with content, the algorithm continues to further refine recommendations to create a more tailored experience.
2. Using social channels as search engines “ups” the trust factor. Social media users are more likely to trust recommendations and reviews from their connections and social networks than from search engines. Users are also more likely to engage with content and ads on social networks than on search engines.
3. Social media platforms are now providing more robust search functionalities resulting in users easily finding what they are looking for. For example, Twitter's advanced search allows users to filter tweets by location, date, and keyword, while Facebook's search bar enables users to search for specific people, pages, groups, and posts.
Social networks are rapidly becoming the new search engines, providing users with personalized experiences, relevant content, and trustworthy recommendations. As social media platforms continue to evolve and offer more robust search functionalities, businesses and users alike will continue to turn to social networks as a primary source of information and discovery.