51% of Gen Z choose TikTok, not Google, for search


TikTok is the search engine of choice for more than half of Gen Z and influences their purchase decisions more than any other platform. That’s according to a new survey from Her Campus Media, a Gen Z media and college marketing company.

Why we care. Although Google dominates search in the U.S. (77.5%) and globally (83.5%), Google has acknowledged TikTok search as a growing threat. Look no further than TikTok introducing search ads. Although TikTok isn’t a web search engine like Google, you need to be visible whenever and whenever users search for relevant topics, your brand/business or your products.

TikTok is the #1 search engine for more than half of Gen Z. Overall, 74% of Gen Z uses TikTok search. And 51% of survey respondents chose TikTok over Google as their search engine. The three biggest reasons:

  • The video format of the results (69%) 
  • More relatable answers (65%) 
  • Personalized answers (47%) 

TikTok makes people buy. #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt is real – and huge. TikTok reported it got 12.4 billion video views. Nearly 3 out of 4 Gen Zers bought something after seeing it on TikTok:

  • 72% purchased a product after seeing it on TikTok.

TikTok also influences purchase decisions for 62% of Gen Z, more than any other platform. This is an increase of 15% compared to Her Campus Media’s 2022 version of this survey.

Product discovery. Gen Z relies heavily on social media for shopping ideas and discovering new brands and products, with 61% of survey respondents saying they trust influencers and brands more than family or friends for recommendations.

  • 70.34% look to influencers.
  • 62.31% look to brands.
  • 61.17% “somone I trust.”

TikTok vs. Instagram. TikTok wins with Gen Z when it comes to watching video content, but Instagram wins on daily usage:

  • 76% prefer to watch videos on TikTok (compared to 16% on Instagram, an 18% increase from 2022. 
  • 95% use Instagram daily (up 10% versus 2022), while 80% use TikTok every day (up 14% versus 2022). 

About the data. The online survey, promoted through Her Campus Media newsletters and social accounts, was conducted in August. It received 1,821 responses – 100% of respondents were from the U.S., 97% were female and 71% were college students (undergrad).

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