Social Search Is Taking Off

How Advertisers Can Benefit as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat Take On Google

Report Snapshot

More consumers are starting their searches on social media, and search ads are a rising opportunity. The format lacks many of the features advertisers expect from traditional search, but it’s still a worthwhile option to explore.

Key Question: How can advertisers reach consumers who use social media to search for things to buy, do, or learn?

KEY STAT: US Gen Z adults are significantly more likely than adults overall to start online product searches on TikTok, YouTube, or Instagram, per a February 2023 Jungle Scout survey.

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    Table of Contents

    1. Report Snapshot
    2. The social search opportunity is growing, fueled by changing consumer behaviors and AI.
    3. Social search is used for more than just shopping.
    1. How should advertisers approach social search?
    2. Insider Intelligence Interviews
    3. Sources
    1. Media Gallery

    Interviewed for This Report

    Randolph Browning
    Night Market
    Interviewed April 24, 2023
    A.J. Storinge
    Night Market
    Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer
    Interviewed April 24, 2023
    Julie Towns
    Vice President and Head of Product Marketing and Product Operations
    Interviewed May 9, 2023

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    Debra Aho Williamson


    Man-Chung Cheung
    Senior Researcher
    Jasmine Enberg
    Principal Analyst
    Chris Keating
    Director, Research
    Natalie McGranahan
    Senior Researcher and Taxonomy Manager
    Jennifer Merritt
    Vice President, Content
    Evelyn Mitchell-Wolf
    Senior Analyst, Digital Advertising & Media
    Amy Rotondo
    Director, US Research
    Tracy Tang
    Senior Researcher

    "Behind the Numbers" Podcast