TikTok’s looking to get more people searching for more stuff in the app, with new prompts that look to get users to download a dedicated TikTok Search shortcut that can then be added to their device Home Screen.
As you can see in this example, posted by Girl Power Marketing (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new TikTok Search shortcut makes it easier to discover TikTok content without having to tap through to the relevant area in the app.
Which, ideally, could also help TikTok to become more of a shopping destination, by highlighting relevant product matches in the app, which will then lead to more discovery behavior being routed through this new process.
Discovery is already a big deal on TikTok, with many young users, in particular, now regularly looking for answers in the app.
Back in 2022, a Google exec even acknowledged the threat that TikTok poses to its core search business. It’s not close as yet, but if TikTok can encourage more search related activity, it could become a more embedded process for the next generation of consumers.
And as noted, that’ll also give the platform more opportunity to build on what users go looking for in-stream.
In China, for example, on the local version of TikTok, you can already search for local businesses, restaurants, entertainment, etc. You can even order food to be delivered direct from the app.
The Chinese TikTok, called “Douyin”, is also experimenting with generative AI search, enabling users to maximize discovery both inside and outside the app.
This is where TikTok is also headed, in order to extend its value beyond entertainment, and embed itself as a more crucial utility for its billion-plus users.
As such, it’s a smart new shortcut, which could provide real value, first to users, then businesses.