‘Just google it’.
It’s become a phrase so common, it’s hard to imagine a world without it.
But in a crazy turn of events, ‘googling’ might be on its way out, with nearly half (40%) of Gen Zs using TikTok and Instagram for search instead of Google Search and Maps according to the tech giant’s own data.
The shocking news came about when Google senior vice president Prabhakar Raghavan told the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference that, “something like almost 40% of young people when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search, they go to TikTok or Instagram.”
Google later confirmed the stats to Insider, saying, “we face robust competition from an array of sources, including general and specialised search engines, as well as dedicated apps.”
So what’s triggered the change in search habits?
There’s not too much data available (yet), but when NBC News asked a bunch of Gen Zs why they’re not using google so much, the answer was simple (and pretty predictable): Gen Zs prefer visual platforms.
“It’s one thing to read about what to do in this area or how this product works, but it’s another thing to see it,” said twenty-one-year-old Anne-Christine Fignole, who told NBC news they no longer use Google for search.
Meanwhile, Las Vegas-based content creator Chelsea said “TikTok is my Google.”
“It’s how I search for product recommendations, how to do things, where to go, even apartment tours!” she wrote on Twitter.
“TikTok is slowly changing into Google, especially with their update that is coming soon.”
But Google’s been quick to respond and has planned changes to Search and Maps to appeal to younger audiences – including a user’s ability to “pan their camera over an area and instantly glean insights about multiple objects in a wider scene.”
What a time to be alive.
But the question is, will it be enough to lure back Gen Zs?