Everyone uses the internet, whether coding or looking for dog videos, we spend 192 minutes a day browsing the internet. But which is the website you start on? Our money says it’s Google. The search engine turned global powerhouse has become a force to be reckoned with within the industry in the last two decades. Starting off as a simple web-page search function, the US based company has since expanded into mobile phone space, home accessibility gadgets and music streaming services. So, it may come as no surprise that for the last 15 years Google has been sitting in the number one position, after taking it off Yahoo in 2006, and has remained the most visited website across the planet. That is until now.
2021 was the year that saw a social and digital revolution thanks to the power of Gen Z and the global pandemic caused by the C-word. During lockdown, the way we all consume and digest content changed dramatically. VOD services and ways we can use the internet exploded, with sites like YouTube and Amazon Prime changing the way we find information. Gen Z helped to drive this change. Gen Z’ers are people born between 1995 and 2010 and are the most influential segment counting for 40% of global consumers. Social media has always been popular amongst teenagers, but it is this ever-increasing segment of people and recent changes in consumption habits that social platforms thrive within. Especially Tiktok.
In case you didn’t know, Tiktok is a Chinese birthed, video-focused, era-defining, social media site and believe it or not – it was 2021’s most popular website of the year. You may remember Donald Trump trying to block the website from touching US networks earlier in the year. The Trump administration labelled Tiktok “a national security threat”, apparently primed to be used by “Chinese Communists”. But since then, the app has seen a phenomenal success in the States during the first year under Joe Biden, and he has recently stated that a national security review of the app is underway.
Tiktok grew monumental amounts in 2021. At the close of 2020, 700 million followers (more than double the numbers of 2019) were using the app, but by the end of 2021 the number had further increased to more than 1 billion users
To put these stats into perspective – that’s more than 1 in 8 people on the planet actively using Tiktok. Since pre-Covid times, there has been a 42% increase in time spent on the app overall, on the app overall, with the most significant growth in time spent on the app being 287% by 16 to 18-year-olds.
Gen Z consumes totally differently to previous generations, they get their news more quickly from a range of platforms, and can easily spot fake news when they see it. Compared to Baby Boomers and the 90’s kids, who saw the come-and-go of floppy disks, dial-up internet and the true birth of streaming services, Gen Z were born into a highly accessible world where this wealth of content and information is commonplace. They are born into an information overloaded environment where they can reach news in a few scrolls
It poses the newer generations, specifically Gen Z, no longer have the desire to search for truth on Google. Have they lost the need to research everything they hear, and fact check what’s being told to them? Rather than it being a case of believing everything they see – Gen Z can spot fake news, they already follow the accounts and outlets they need to get the information and news they can trust. When you compare market share and the overall volume of Gen Z, it’s not hard to appreciate the sheer size of the generation. As Baby Boomers and 90’s babies evolve into new stages, the Gen Z remains the largest segment. When you look at the target demographic of Tiktok, it correlates with such a high number of captured users. Tiktok is Gen Z fuel, with its instant content and all the information they could possibly want.
As impressive as Gen Z is, possibly being the most technological savvy generation of children the world has ever seen, are they becoming more interested in pop culture rather than world affairs? Or do they not trust the information around them and so become tuned in but zoned out. Our research suggests that newer generations have a lower desire to research news, and this is reflected in the Tiktok takeover last year.
Gen Z have been thrown into an already overloaded world and, with information available at their fingertips, the need to Google has dropped off compared to the need for entertainment. With Gen Z taking up the largest segment of consumers, magnified by the impact of the global pandemic, it’s no surprise Tiktok has become so popular.
You can check out the top ten websites of 2021 below.
We have bags of of experience developing and delivering impactful TikTok content for brands, and we can do the same for you, get in touch to find out more.