Data out earlier this week from Cloudflare revealed that TikTok is now the most popular online destination globally, ahead of Google for the first time. That’s an enormous deal for tech. And it suggests that the focus of antitrust regulators on big tech, which has consumed so much attention this year, is misplaced. Big tech is already losing ground to the next big thing.
TikTok’s ascendance raises all sorts of fascinating questions. It’s well established that people use TikTok for far more than fun videos—its recipes are particularly popular, as just one example. Are people turning to TikTok to search for a broad array of information, in much the same way they began using Amazon to search for shopping ideas? In other words, is there a fundamental shift away from Google’s search engine—the one that the government says is a monopoly—toward TikTok?