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Gen Z will use TikTok like Google, upending the old internet order

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Google is for search. TikTok is entertainment. At least it used to be. But for a new generation of teenagers and young adults, TikTok is becoming a go-to place for information, taking over the functions of established internet giants. Boasting over a billion users, the service is more than just an app for young people aged 10 to her 25 to watch video clips.

TikTok’s sales are expected to triple this year to $12 billion, according to EMarketer. His one-third of its users are in the United States alone, where he is 67 million members of his Generation Z. That demographic still shapes shopping habits and is a key prospect for advertisers and technology companies. The young user’s familiarity with the startup is also a counterpoint to critics who say the tech company violates antitrust laws.

“Without TikTok, I wouldn’t have the career I have at my current job,” said Edinne Ogbonna, a 24-year-old software salesperson in the Dallas area. “I actually found a training program through someone’s girlfriend’s TikTok and did the training program and got the job I have now.”

Around 40% of young people today use TikTok or Instagram, owned by Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc, instead of Google when searching for lunch recommendations, said Prabhakar Raghavan, senior vice president at Google. said in an interview with TechCrunch earlier this month. This data comes from a survey of US users aged 18 to he is 24. The search giant, which faces multiple antitrust lawsuits, cites findings like these to highlight the strength of its competition.

“We keep learning over and over again that new Internet users don’t have the expectations and mindsets we’re used to,” Raghavan said in an interview. “The questions they ask are completely different.”

Such was the case with Leia Getahorn, who arrived in New York over Juneteenth weekend to start her internship. Using TikTok, the 20-year-old University of California, her senior year, accessed search results created by average consumers and newly connected friends. Thanks to the 15-second clip, she didn’t waste time opening multiple tabs, struggling with long videos, or sorting through years-old clips.

“It’s my first week in New York and I’m thinking, ‘OK, where’s a good club with lots of black people and good music?'” Getahorn said. “After looking around, I went to an event in the city that I found on TikTok. It was a lot of fun. The atmosphere was great.”

Not everyone is crazy about TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance Ltd. Although the service’s management says its China-based employees have access to information from users in the United States. , has denied providing information to the Chinese Communist Party. The app has been downloaded by him over 320 million times in the US, according to the researcher’s Sensor Tower.

But for businesses looking to connect with young consumers, a key target for marketers, TikTok offers immediate access, starting with a “For You Page” where users see recent posts and ads. to

Courtney Blagrove and Zan BR, founders of Whipped Urban Dessert Lab, the world’s first oat milk ice cream shop, learned firsthand how TikTok can help their business. Its sister store in New York’s Lower East Side had been open for only two weeks when the pandemic hit. When they finally got back in the open, they hired a social media manager to increase their presence on places like TikTok.

carmel drizzle

A short clip of caramel sauce dripping into a fresh scoop of ice cream or a cookie crumble falling out of a cup has attracted more than 73,000 TikTok users to follow the ice cream alternative.

“Social media was very important to us, not only for people to see the product when they couldn’t experience it for themselves, but also for mass messaging,” said BR.

Almost a year after expanding its presence, sales have increased by 150% from 2021 and the store now serves approximately 500 customers a day. Being visible on users’ “For You Page” allows small businesses to attract audiences and potential customers from all over the country and around the world.

“It’s a business dream for customers to claim your presence,” says Blagrove.

Clips are attractive to young TikTok users. A funny, visual answer to their question.

“We’re like kids who don’t like to read,” said Getahorn, who attends the University of California, Berkeley. “I give them picture books and suddenly they start having visions.”