It comes as no surprise that we have seen a huge shift over the last decade in how information is being consumed. For years now people have been turning to digital platforms over traditional media outlets to be kept up to date with the latest news.
Recent reports however show that there is now a shift in the way that younger generations are searching for their news.
Rather than go out to buy a broadsheet or tune in to the 6 o’clock news, almost 40% of Gen Z (those born between 1997-2012) prefer searching TikTok and Instagram rather than use Google Search and Maps, according to Google’s internal data.
Source: Business Insider
Can social media platforms be trusted?
Despite this shift, there are still concerns amongst users over the quality and trustworthiness of the news stories. Only half of YouTube and Twitter users, and fewer than a third of TikTok users, trust the platform’s news content. These platforms however, offer a much broader range of content and allow users to see others’ reactions to this content very quickly and easily.
Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s group director for strategy and research, said: “Teenagers today are increasingly unlikely to pick up a newspaper or tune into TV News, instead preferring to keep up-to-date by scrolling through their social feeds.
“And while youngsters find news on social media to be less reliable, they rate these services more highly for serving up a range of opinions on the day’s topical stories.”
Source: Sky News
Can Google compete?
TikTok’s popularity is growing at a rapid rate, it is now the fastest growing social media app, and competing social media platforms are copying its most popular features in a bid to keep them relevant.
But it’s not only other social media platforms that are taking notice.
A Google exec has confirmed that the way TikTok is formatted is changing the way younger generations carry out online searching.
Due to this level of popularity and the trends we are seeing in how users search for content, Google has been making some big changes to the search engine to help it appeal more to the younger audience.
Rather than the bog standard search field we’re all used to, you’re now able to search visually by using your camera or an image, search for a song by humming and search with images and text at the same time. You can read more about it here.
What does this mean for businesses?
The way younger generations are searching for content could bring many opportunities for brands.
TikTok is great for generating brand awareness, using visual content to instantly grab people’s attention. This makes it a great top-of-funnel channel for many industries.
Google on the other hand remains the best channel to answer more specific user search queries through engaging, longer-form content.
But with Google making big changes to the way users can search for and consume information, this is bound to create many new possibilities for how businesses are discovered by their target audience.
Before jumping on the trends we are seeing, it’s important for businesses to consider their audience’s behaviour, consider the channels they are most likely to use and create relevant, valuable content based on that. This will ensure they are present in front of the right people, in the right places at the right time.
If this is something you need support with, the Forever team can help. Give us a ring or get in touch and we will be happy to discuss the challenges your business is facing and how we can support.