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Young Internet users are increasingly turning to TikTok and Instagram to start web searches

Trouble could be brewing for Google Search and Maps

In a nutshell: YouTube isn’t the only Google-owned service attempting to remain relevant in an age dominated by social media. Two of the company’s core products – Search and Maps – are increasingly falling out of favour with youth using social media in ways you might never have considered.

During the recent Fortune Brainstorm Tech 2022 conference in Aspen, Colorado, Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan said they keep learning that new Internet users don’t have the same expectations and mindset that we’ve become accustomed to.

“The queries they ask are completely different,” the executive added.

Raghavan noted that in Google studies, they are seeing roughly 40 percent of young people turning to TikTok or Instagram when searching for a place to have lunch. “They don’t go to Google Maps or Search,” he said.

TechCrunch reached out to Google, and a spokesperson confirmed that Raghavan’s figured were based on internal research involving a study of US Internet users between 18 and 24. The data from the study hasn’t been made public yet, but it could eventually find its way to Google’s competition site at a later date.

As the publication correctly highlights, this could become a serious problem for Google. The company has spent decades and countless sums of money to fine-tune its recommendation algorithms for Search and to gather data for Maps. It also makes a lot of money from ads sold against Search queries.

That said, don’t expect Google to sit around and watch the world pass it by. The tech titan is constantly evolving behind the scenes to meet users along their journey. “We have to conjure up completely new expectations and that takes altogether new… technology underpinnings,” Raghavan said.


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