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SEARCH ENGINES

Seismic shift in search as Gen Z consumers no longer ‘Google it’

By our African Marketing Confederation News Team | 2024

The old guard of search engines is being challenged as younger people turn to Instagram and TikTok for search and discovery.

Google’s long-held dominance in search may be under threat as younger consumers in the Gen Z cohort increasingly turn to social search via the likes of Instagram and TikTok. 

 

This is according to research released by SOCI, a US-based marketing technology vendor. It surveyed just over 1,000 American consumers. 

Photo by PhotoMIX Company from Pexels

 

While acknowledging that many people use multiple search engines, the study shows Instagram is most popular for search, followed by TikTok. Google is in third. 

 

“Google is in for an intense fight to retain its relevance in search with younger users,” says Damian Rollison, Director of Market Insights at SOCI. 

 

“The old guard of search engines is being challenged as younger shoppers turn to Instagram and TikTok for search and discovery. For businesses, a robust presence on these platforms isn’t just beneficial – it’s critical to winning market share with younger consumers.” 

 

Gen Z’s search habits may change over time 

 

However, Forbes business magazine cautions: “That may be true. But we’ll have to see how Gen Z’s search habits change over time, and if they age out of Instagram and TikTok just a bit as they get older.” 

 

When looking at the search habits of consumers in all age groups, the SOCI study finds that the traditional status quo still holds true. 

 

“Across all demographic groups, social media platforms are rising in the ranks as tools for search,” SOCI says. “While Google Search and Google Maps still dominate, Facebook makes a strong third-place showing.” 

 

Comments Forbes: “Not only is social search on the rise, but generative AI is threatening to disrupt Google’s search cash-cow, which is why Microsoft has partnered with GPT-4 maker OpenAI to inject generative results into Bing.  

 

“That partnership may help Microsoft win, but it’s taking time: Bing still only has about 3.3% of global search volume.” 

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.