Over Half of College Students Prefer Using TikTok Over Search Engines for Homework Help

24 February 2023
by Archie Williamson
1 min
Over Half of College Students Prefer Using TikTok Over Search Engines for Homework Help

TikTok’s evolution into a search engine continues to gather pace after a new study found a majority of college students use the app to enter queries for assistance with school work.

Not content with using TikTok as an entertainment hub, young people are now turning to the search function to find information and acquire knowledge about a wide range of academic subjects.

The survey of 1,000 US college students by Intelligent.com highlights the potential for TikTok to be a primary education tool, with 34% stating they use it for help on writing their college applications.

Worryingly for Google, nearly 6 in 10 of this group say they prefer TikTok for this purpose, rather than traditional search engines.

The findings are more evidence that TikTok is disrupting the search landscape amid a shift in how the Gen Z demographic looks for and finds content online.

Intelligent.com’s Blanca Villagomez believes the social media platform’s popularity stems from its ability to present information in a “fun and engaging way”.

This informal approach to learning resonates with students, as around half say they are learning either “much more” or “somewhat more” on TikTok compared to class.

The subjects they are taking deep dives into are diverse too, though maths is the most popular (44%), ahead of English (41%), art (39%) and music (37%).

While students engaging with educational videos is encouraging, Villagomez believes they should be wary of creators that spread misinformation.

This may be a blind spot for young people, as 82% of respondents stated that TikTok’s content is either “very” or “somewhat” trustworthy.

Moving forward, Villagomez hopes educators will use the platform to experiment and create different forms of visual content to support students’ learning opportunities.

She added: “Additionally, it is important that any adaptation to new technology is screened for accessibility, especially for students with disabilities.”


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