TikTok Search has started showing external links to Google results.
App researcher Radu Oncescu shared a screenshot on X (formerly known as Twitter) after noticing the new feature, which is being tested in several different markets across the world:
The test shows a Google Search box appearing midway down the social platform’s search results page, encouraging users to look up the same search term on Google.
What happens? When TikTok users input a search term into the Google Search box, a link takes them away to the in-app browser. Google’s search results are then displayed there.
Before users leave its platform, TikTok issues a disclaimer warning users that it “does not endorse or take responsibility for search results from Google.”
Why we care. A partnership between TikTok and Google has the power to significantly increase traffic and ad revenue for both companies. As Oncescu explained:
- “Brands want to quickly reach younger audiences and both platforms have the power to do this if they will learn to work together.”
Why this matters. Google is currently being sued by the U.S. Government for allegedly using underhand tactics to maintain its status as the world’s leading search engine. One of the alleged tactics includes paying third-party companies $10 billion a year to be the default search engine on products like iPhones, making it difficult for rival companies like Microsoft to compete.
What’s at stake. The U.S. and state allies are not asking for money; they want a court order to stop Google from its alleged unfair practices. This order could greatly affect Google’s business. For example:
- The court could potentially split up the company as a solution.
- On a broader scale, the Justice Department might argue that it aims to prevent Google from using its alleged search monopoly to secure exclusive deals in new markets, like AI.
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What has TikTok said? A spokesperson for TikTok told Business Insider that the platform is experimenting with third-party integrations within the TikTok app, including the new Google feature. The company refused to elaborate further or confirm if there was a financial agreement with Google.
Deep dive. Keep up-to-date with the latest developments in the Google antitrust trial by reading our regularly updated everything you need to know article.