GenZ is increasingly Turning to TikTok for News than Search Engines

Feb 22, 2023
Updated • Feb 22, 2023

GenZ is increasingly Turning to TikTok for News than Search Engines

It’s not news anymore that GenZ started preferring searching on TikTok for news to search engines like Google. However, we now have the answer to whether this trend will continue into the foreseeable future. Rather than slow down or turn the other way, it looks like the younger generation is increasing this TikTok practice. 

More publications are starting to note this trend by GenZ to turn to sources other than search engines for news. As a matter of fact, it looks like commercial entities are looking for new ways to leverage platforms like TikTok in their favor. I’ve specifically been seeing more adverts for products in my area that actually look pretty fun. The ads are more useful to me than the ones I’ve been seeing on Google.

So let’s look at one of the stats, for interest’s sake. According to Morning Consult, 14% of the younger GenZ members are going to TikTok for the latest news in February alone. It’s expected that this number will rise. 

Is this surprising, though? In our fast-paced times, why would GenZ want to read tedious articles about what’s happening in the world today? Instead, they can turn to short videos on TikTok that present the same details in a more entertaining way. Plus, you can actually see what’s happening in real time if someone is live.

I’ve been having fun watching Karen Gillan’s antics on TikTok. She had quite a struggle trying to convince the platform that she is the real actress, making us giggle with the hilarious methods she tried. Now, I’m keen to watch her videos for hints on her upcoming movies rather than checking on Google.


No, I’m not GenZ, but I understand why it’s more fun to check news details on TikTok.

Source: Morning Consult


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  1. TelV said on February 23, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    @ Shaun,

    Maybe you can employ your literary talents to persuade your country to vote in the UN General Assembly to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine rather than abstaining and pretending it’s not your war.

    Putin is a tyrant and a dictator who may yet push the nuclear button and send us all to damnation and appeasing him by abstaining in such an important vote will only encourage him to take that irreversible step and annihilate not just the western world, but also subject the southern half of the planet to the inevitable radioactive fallout and all its consequences.

    1. basingstoke said on February 24, 2023 at 3:55 pm

      Dude, it’s literally “not your war”, you get to hear only one side of the story and are thus vastly misinformed – things are not black and white the way you portray them – and on top of all that, South Africa really doesn’t have to concern themselves with any of this.

      1. Jody Thornton said on February 24, 2023 at 6:03 pm

        Just how do you see it @bassingstoke?
        (This I gotta hear?)

    2. Rex said on February 24, 2023 at 3:14 am

      Who tf asked? Take your political crap elsewhere, this is a technology forum.

  2. Anonymous said on February 23, 2023 at 11:23 am

    that explains alot , though no suprise. genZ, captured in comfort, never had the chance to learn what proper media differenciates from trash sources where any propellerhead spreads his ‘news’.

  3. Anonymous said on February 23, 2023 at 9:01 am

    So long old friend.

  4. Mystique said on February 23, 2023 at 7:06 am

    I completely agree.
    This place has become a ghost town.
    There are no discussions going on anymore and the articles are just churned out with no rhyme or reason. This website has become like every other similar website that absolutely nobody bothers reading or commenting on. It will be a rather slow death and eventually it will just shut down altogether.

    Honestly it stinks!
    I rather enjoyed the readers here and the comments and obviously enjoyed the articles that Martin and Ashwin put out.

    Once again I put this question to you all… Where to from here?

    1. Tom Hawack said on February 23, 2023 at 11:39 am

      This place has become a ghost town because it’s aiming a greater visibility throughout a plethora of articles bringing it to the status of a major place, though Ghacks has always been a reference.

      Those of us, longtime readers, especially longtime commenters, have taken our habits in what became with time a “technology pub” where we’d all debate, share on an article, on its topic, bringing our exchanges to cross-topic, interdisciplinary and even trans-disciplinary thoughts : the intelligent form of dialogues rather than focusing on one specific element, far less instructive.

      Indeed Ghacks is now impersonal, tasteless : it doesn’t “stink” because it has simply become odorless.
      In my view this doesn’t mean articles written by other writers than the legendary 3 (Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, Ashwin) should be discredited on the ground of our frustration to no longer have the Ghacks we’ve known in the past : they’re doing their job, they may be workers coming from the outside but they’re workers, not executives, and their articles should be read objectively.

      My feeling is that the number of comments will progressively decrease (see already the number of articles with zero comment), that I have no idea because no source to know if the number of readers will increase, and consequently have no element to be sure if this new strategy will bring more profit to the mother-company.

      This is the end of an era for all longtime Ghacks visitors. Life goes on, let us not dramatize when real dramas shake this planet already.

  5. Cor Invictus said on February 22, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    Now I have two ghacks bookmarks:
    Not touching the rest.

  6. Anonymous said on February 22, 2023 at 10:20 pm

    That’s very sad. GenZs have no future. :(

  7. boris said on February 22, 2023 at 9:45 pm

    Anybody can recommend the site that does what ghacks used to do?

    1. Clairvaux said on February 23, 2023 at 7:14 pm

      Sort of. I recommend Ask Leo.

      It’s very different from Ghacks. It’s far less geeky, and caters primarily to a very wide public. But it’s on my RSS feed and I never miss an article. I regularly learn things there I did not know.

      It’s written by a very experienced guy, who retired from Microsoft. He has the knack for sharing advice everybody needs but is seldom given. He also has very high ethical standards.

      He makes money out of this (ads, donations), but he is very much open to his readers’ needs. He’s representative of the old Microsoft, the one you could trust. He’s a good guy. His site is worth a visit, even if you decide it’s not for you after all.

      1. Sebas said on February 24, 2023 at 5:59 am

        @Clairvaux Ask Leo is indeed a good substitute too. The website has been there since 2003, and today it looks and is still the same as then.

        Another good website is Born’s Tech and Windows World, launched in 2009. It is written in English by a German freelance writer, so that’s something, coming from ghacks net :). I often look at it for security issues and software updates. He is good at writing English language.

        Added bonus: On Born’s Tech and Windows World, Brave’s shields blocks 2 trackers/ adverts and uBlock Origin 1. On ghacks net that is 30 and 4. (I added quite a few filter lists to Brave’s advert blocker).

        Both are/ were regularly mentioned by Martin.

    2. Sebas said on February 23, 2023 at 4:18 am

    3. Tom Hawack said on February 22, 2023 at 10:22 pm


      1. Anonymous said on February 26, 2023 at 4:52 am

        Thanks so much Tom, was becoming really concerned Martin would become one of these pod people.

      2. John Doe said on February 23, 2023 at 12:09 am

        Oooh, didn’t know it before. Thank you!

    4. Leo said on February 22, 2023 at 10:17 pm
  8. ShintoPlasm said on February 22, 2023 at 9:09 pm

    This is a general note for Martin and the commenters.

    Ever since the Softonic takeover, and especially since chatbot-like ‘authors’ have been added to the team, I feel like Ghacks has completely lost its soul. The deluge of mostly simplistic articles exemplifies the new owners’ spirit: quantity over quality. I no longer feel there’s any coherence to the articles themselves, and there is hardly anything that differentiates GH from other tech churners. I think this is also seen in the significant decline of the comment section and internal banter. Personally, I have been drifting away from GH as I no longer recognise it anymore.

    1. nosamu said on February 24, 2023 at 7:27 am

      I’ve been a regular reader (though not commenter) since 2011 or so. The smaller number of simplistic / general-audience articles from Shaun was easy to ignore, but the recent deluge of low-quality articles is absolutely intolerable. I spent a bit of time crafting the following uBlock Origin rule:,a.home-posts,a.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Ashwin/))

      Hope this is helpful to anyone else out there having trouble kicking their Ghacks habit! ;)

    2. Clairvaux said on February 23, 2023 at 7:09 am

      Idiocracy is winning.

    3. Matt Parker said on February 23, 2023 at 4:44 am

      It was so thoughtful of you to leave this comment. I share the same sentiment but have just been keeping it to myself and coming here less and less. Gone are the good old days.

    4. Sebas said on February 23, 2023 at 4:18 am

      @ShintoPlasm Couldn’t have said myself it better. The old ghacks net has gone. It was always the first site I visited. Not only the topics, but some of the comments were as valuable. That’s all washed away now. is a very good substitute with useful no nonsense content and lively discussions. It is written in German language, which for me is not a problem. When using the Brave translation into English, the translation is quite good.

    5. Oxa said on February 23, 2023 at 3:47 am

      I noticed that of the 4 most popular posts listed on the front page of gHacks, 3 are by Martin and 1 by Ashwin. That should be sufficient feedback for anyone except Softonic .

    6. Jody Thornton said on February 22, 2023 at 9:24 pm

      Yes I have to admit, I’m losing patience with these sorts of articles, but I really, really Softonic is trying to change format, much like a radio station does, and find a new audience. Let’s be honest, we’re rather grumpy, techie and non-sexy. That just ages the appearance of the site.

      With more of these articles, and less of our comments, the site will transform quickly to what they are trying to make it into: a younger, hipper site that’s easily monetized, and maybe can transform into an app.

      A prospective Gen Z reader doesn’t want to see comments from the likes of us. They think themselves, “go away old man!”

      1. John McEnroe said on February 24, 2023 at 7:03 pm

        I didn’t really pay attention to the links until you mentioned Softonic, then I went back and clicked on everything……. and sure enough it’s linking to a bunch of Softonic articles that are basically the same topic as this TikTok Gen Z article on GH. I have noticed the decline in quality reporting, but I didn’t know it got bought by Softonic. It’s kinda hard to prove that they are trying to lure Gen Z but based on what they’ve linked to: majority Softonic (their owner) or GH themselves, then rando Tick Tocker, rando Twit (with video), and some other rando news looking site, I think this is SEO optimization?

        They are pushing Softonic’s article about this TikTok trend upwards by linking to their own site so much, but also pushing GH up by linking to other established sites with relevant topics, and that’s before we even get to the keyword optimizations here. It’s less tech-focused and just more buzzwordy headlines. The first line of this article even calls this out and says “it’s not news anymore,” so why even bother writing this article? It’s cuz it just drags in a ton of buzzwords and makes GH and Softonic look more relevant to SEO metrics. There’s literally nothing groundbreaking here, no statistics to prove/disprove, no product to buy, no technical analysis, no alternatives presented……. there’s no reason for this article to exist

      2. Markus said on February 23, 2023 at 1:06 pm

        Some people tend to cling to sites, believing the golden times will return, but they never do.

      3. basingstoke said on February 23, 2023 at 10:11 am

        Jody Thornton – there is no “prospective Gen Z reader” for this site, that is just a foolish thing to say, and a false assumption. Didn’t you read the article? Gen z are not turning to sites like this for their news, they’re getting it elsewhere. I’m inclined to believe that.

      4. Jody Thornton said on February 23, 2023 at 3:12 pm

        Yes @bassingstoke however, Softonic/Ghacks have to be seen trying to get that younger audience, at least as far as stakeholders are concerned. Gen Z and younger millennials don’t ALL go to Tik Tok, just a good many. There may be still a way to grow a good amount of that audience capturing the mobile web space, and then moving over to the app ecosystem. It’s all possible – not a foolish thing to think at all.

        Look at traditional media. They’re doing everything they can to attract younger ears and eyes, and though likely it’s a lost cause, they don’t just give up. They still have to try to extend their longevitiy.

      5. Andy Prough said on February 22, 2023 at 11:49 pm

        I saw a front page article on Protonmail a couple hours ago and was going to come back to read it thoroughly but couldn’t find the article because the Ghacks front page had been demolished by an avalanche of FIFTEEN new articles!!! Good grief!

        Ghacks either needs to slow down the rampage or increase the number of stories the front page can hold so that I don’t have to spend 5 minutes trying to find where they’ve pigeon-holed the bumped stories every couple of hours.

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