When you’re looking for a great Italian food restaurant in your neighborhood, you might think about making a quick Google search.

But, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference, Prabhakar Raghavan, a Senior Vice President in charge of Google Search, said, “In our studies, 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.”

Is it possible that TikTok will soon be Google’s big rival?


Younger, newer internet users have gravitated to mobile-first social media and video platforms, like Google’s YouTube, Meta’s Instagram, and ByteDance’s TikTok.

Google has already seen the impact that TikTok has made on YouTube, overtaking the platform earlier this year in terms of average time spent on the top social platforms by U.S. adults.

But these users are also using the internet differently than older generations, which may threaten the dominance of legacy search platforms.

Raghavan indicated that these users may not be accustomed to using search keywords or a paper map, which impacts the effectiveness of how the company has designed its Search and Maps products.

“The queries they [newer internet users] ask are completely different,” he said. “New internet users don’t have the expectations and the mindset that we have become accustomed to.”

As a part of this evolution, Google is making changes to its Search product to become more visual and understand increasingly complex queries.


For instance, Google is rolling out a new mobile search design that helps deliver relevant information related to images. It is also rolling out Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which can interpret both text and image results on the web.


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