TikTok Encouraging More Searches With Shortcut And AI

TikTok is promoting a dedicated search shortcut that could get more people searching on the platform.

Users can add a new prompt by downloading the dedicated TikTok search shortcut, which is intended to “make quicker searches.”

Douyin -- China’s TikTok and the original version of the app -- began experimenting with generative AI search late last year.

The AI search feature is located in the interface of the app, along with other services such as searching by products, group buying, users, and videos. The answers are pulled from videos, text and third-party websites, complete with links to get more details and information.



Although it has not yet been determined, it seems that this feature is multimodal.

Improving discovery on TikTok search could turn the platform into a full shopping destination, attracting even more advertisers to the platform.

The concept and definition of "search engine" continues to change. Some ask if we should still call search, search, or whether is deserves another descriptor. While marketers argue over the definition, and searchers just continue to search. Not only on Google and Bing, but Amazon, Apple, Target, Walmart and other retailers and marketplaces. They search using Apple Siri, Google Gemini, Amazon Rufus, Microsoft Copilot, OpenAI ChatGPT and others.  

Google Search has begun to pull posts from TikTok videos in results. Videos have served up in search results prior, but they were never given prominent positions.

The videos and descriptions have begun to appear in Google Featured Snippets as well as Search Generative Experience (SGE), Google’s AI technology.

TikTok CEO Shou Chew in January told the U.S. Senate he would spend $2 billion to protect 170 million U.S. users, and nearly 2 billion worldwide.

In addition to searching for products and services on TikTok, some users search for news. When a Baby Boomer friend told me he gets his news on TikTok, my jaw dropped. Mostly young people turn to influencers and peers to seek out information about current affairs.

Bloomberg reported that The New York Times has 595,600 readers, while TikTok creator Dylan Page with News Daddy draws 10.4 million to his stream; and TikTok V Spehar, with UnderTheDeskNews, draws 3 million followers.

The "for you" AI algorithms make TikTok unique. reported TikTok’s recommendation engine archetype contained three building blocks. A self-training AI engine, content tags, and user profiles and scenarios.

The correlation between these elements depends on the data, features, engagement metrics, and the governing algorithm, according to the report. The three have a clear motive and that is to keep people on the app as long as possible.

The AI-based recommendation system has maintained strong engagement rates and lowered exit rates, as well as promoting content creation. 


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