Trends in Technology
For nearly two decades, Google has dominated the internet and topped the rank of the most visited web domain in the world. The only real challenger it faced in the past was Yahoo, and even that wasn’t close. When you think about it, Google’s dominance makes perfect sense. The powerful search engine has become a part of our lives, and we use it every day for everything from work tasks, homework, finding directions, sharing content, and searching for just about everything. Today, nearly 50% of all online traffic originates with a Google search.
However, that all changed in 2021 as TikTok, a recently launched video-sharing app, ended Google’s reign as the most popular web domain in the world, according to a report by Cloudflare. The fastest-growing social media platform became the most downloaded app in 2020. It surpassed a billion users, taking the digital landscape by storm, alarming all major competitors, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
In this post, I’ll talk about TikTok’s rise to the top and share the biggest drivers of its rapid success.
How TikTok Ended Google’s Reign as the Most Popular Web Domain
The fact is, no one expected TikTok to become a real threat to established tech giants when it was launched. Sure, it rapidly grabbed some market shares by taking the attention away from Facebook and Instagram, but Google? That’s just a mountain on top of another mountain.However, if you dive deeper into the platform, you’ll learn that it offers a more integrated way to access information compared to the latter.
Even you put aside its use case, security concerns, misinformation, and other quirks, the platform continues to grow in terms of visibility and search traffic, especially with businesses joining the bandwagon. Plus, established tech giants have attracted intense scrutiny in the past from regulators and lawmakers, especially in the European Union, following the introduction of GDPR.
These tech giants have been slow to recognize what could replace them, forgetting they too were once a shiny new thing that didn’t fade away over time.
If you’re still confused as to how TikTok ended Google’s reign as the most popular web domain, here are five reasons:
1. Specific User Demographic
Unlike most new social media platforms, TikTok didn’t try to take over Facebook by targeting everyone. Instead, it targeted a young audience by building a millennial and gen Xer-friendly application for user and customer acquisition. It turned millions of users into social media stars by focusing on the front camera and short viral videos without the need for expensive production studios or the latest videography equipment, both of which are important for growth on Instagram and YouTube.
As a result, it rapidly became the go-to platform for startups and small businesses looking to reach an audience between 12-20 years old.
2. Rapid Growth
Since its inception in 2017, TikTok has grown exponentially to become the fastest social media network to reach a billion users, beating the likes of Instagram in the process. This great momentum has led to even more search traffic as more potential users want to learn what the platform is about when they come across viral videos on other mainstream sites.
3. Inexpensive Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has grown rapidly in the last decade following the emergence of YouTube and similar platforms. However, marketing on these conventional channels can be expensive and often outside the budget of most startups and small businesses. Although influencer marketing is not the platform’s main value proposition, it offers a direct path to tomorrow’s consumers.
By leveraging TikTok, you’re using a platform that many of your competitors aren’t using. Thus, you can gain an edge over them. Plus, since most TikTok influencers are normal people with normal equipment, they’re more likely to gain the trust of younger audiences who don’t perceive them as marketing puppets of giant firms.
4. Smart Growth Strategy
TikTok continues to grow despite being similar to many platforms on the market. This is mainly due to the thorough testing they’ve done in the Chinese market, which holds over a billion people. Unlike most platforms, it has launched many options to filter unwanted attention and allows users to control their data and privacy.
Moreover, the platform educates users on how to use different features and also how to ensure safety to prevent misuse. Although many other platforms have these features, they waited a long time before implementing them – long after the damage had already been done.
5. Viral Videos
At the end of the day, TikTok is a viral video platform. If you know anything about viral videos, they’re currently taking the market by storm and turning users into stars overnight. The biggest difference between TikTok and other video platforms is that the interaction, which many users claim is more meaningful due to real-time interaction on the feed.
Simply put, users spend less time on the platform compared to YouTube and Twitch but get more out of it than the latter. Plus, due to shorter content, users can watch up to 150 videos in an hour, making it perfect for low-cost marketing campaigns. Combining this with targeted ads, you have a potentially unmatched marketing solution in terms of ROI.
TikTok may not be a tech goliath like Google, but it still managed to knock the search engine as the world’s most popular web domain. This shift shows how rapidly the digital world is evolving and how established companies aren’t safe from losing their position. The popular video-sharing platform allows users to gain unlimited followers without spending heavily on videography equipment. Similarly, it allows marketers to achieve significant buzz cost-effectively, allowing them to create a smoother, more humanized customer journey compared to Google and other counterparts. As a result, it’s getting more hits than any other web domain in the market today.
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