The younger generations don’t use Google for search, they use TikTok or Instagram. It was a senior executive from Google itself who raised the hare At a Tech Conference: According to internal research, to find a nearby restaurant to eat, 40% of American youth ages 18-24 go to TikTok or Instagram, and not Google Maps or the “lifelong” web search engine. At least not as a first step.

What “incomprehensible” logic do they follow to use what appear to be applications to share short videos or photos? The same executive, Prabhakar Raghavan (Vice President of Google) pointed out that youth are not limited to typing something in a box to obtain a text result, but hope to discover content in more immersive, interactive and visually rich.

Teenagers have ”never seen a paper map”, and digital maps have been designed to look like a paper map that opens on the mobile screen. This “does not meet the expectations” of a generation that has had a tablet in their hands from an early age, so “it is not the experience that must be offered to them.” A micro-video of less than a minute can explain a cooking recipe quickly and synthetically to them, and a person recording themselves in a restaurant tells them more about the place than a long review, such as as noted in a New York Times article. Reaction comments to the video serve as verification, otherwise it’s easy to move on to another relevant video.

According to Cloudfare, TikTok, Owned by the Chinese technology company ByteDance, it managed to surpass Google as the most visited domain in the world in 2021. The Chinese version of the application, Douyin, incorporates e-commerce as a form of additional monetization to advertising. Globally, they continue to work on new features – search, keywords linked in descriptions and comments, etc. – so that users spend more and more time without leaving the application.

Google and the other bigtechs, as is to be expected, are preparing to defend their quota, and that is why formats are being copied and issues such as artificial intelligence chatbots, augmented reality, immersive 3D views are being discussed, reaching the multiverses.< /p>

However, not only the big technology companies should be attentive to TikTok and the changes it produces in the behaviors of users. All agents, large or small, who need to achieve interactions in the digital environment will be affected sooner or later, with no room to ever trust that they have reached an optimal digital ecosystem.

It is not necessary for everyone to be visible precisely on TikTok, it could be short-sighted and untimely, but they are interested in getting an idea of ​​what are the reasons that lead the new generations to use other tools in other ways< /strong>. Since expectations, based on new experiences and learning about digital interaction, will shape the frameworks of a future digital environment in constant change.

Main photo: Carlos ZGZ

Article available in the Naider winter publication