TikTok Partners With Wikipedia To Insert Snippets Of The Encyclopedia Into Search Results


TikTok is not a search engine no matter how people see or consider it. But young people think otherwise.

This is because TikTok, their favorite social platform, is where they spend much of their time when online. Not only consume content at an alarming rate, they also look for information by typing in their queries to the search bar, as if treating the social media a search engine to help them get answers to their questions.

From find nearby restaurants to news, young people tend to trust what the platform suggests.

TikTok knows this trend, and because of that, it is reflecting to that shift.

In order to not have its users misled to some misinformation from uncredible sources, the social media is quietly inserting Wikipedia snippets to some result pages for people, places, and events.

Read: TikTok Explains How Its Algorithms Work When Suggesting The 'For You' Feed

When users look for terms like Taylor Swift or Thanksgiving, among others, for example, TikTok will find Wikipedia links within the social media's search results.

Interacting with the snippet will take users directly to Wikipedia for the said terms, whereas links at the bottom of the snippet will allow users to directly jump to different sections of the Wikipedia entry.

These links can appear as users scroll down through in-app search results, and is automatically inserted between relevant videos that appear on the search results.

It's worth noting that the Wikipedia entries don’t appear consistently, and can appear in other languages other than English.

TikTok spokesperson Zachary Kizer confirmed that the company is partnering with Wikipedia to bring information directly to users through its app.

However, Kizer siad that the feature has been live for a few months, but the company never formally introduce nor announce it.

While the move may not be that significant, but this is the first time that the platform has offered its users results from the wider web as historically, it exclusively featured its own content in search results.

TikTok has an immense influence in the digital realm. It's like the Goliath of the social media world, towering over its competitors.

TikTok's ability to capture the attention and engagement of such a vast audience, can make even the mightiest tech giants feel a little uneasy. It can send shivers down the spines of other digital giants.

And that includes Google.

Snippets link to the topic’s Wikipedia page (Mia Sato / The Verge)

While Google Search is a lot more powerful that TikTok's search feature in every single way, TikTok's influence amongst younger generations has even made Google to state that it sees TikTok as a search competitor.

Google has acknowledged that TikTok and other platforms could be eating into its search dominance.

In 2022, Prabhakar Raghavan, the SVP in charge of search at Google, said "something like almost 40 percent of young people, when they are looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search — they go to TikTok or Instagram."

By inserting Wikipedia entries into its search results, TikTok is clearly intensifying its efforts in the search arena.

This shift raises questions about whether Google might find itself facing a more concerning competitor in the search space than previously anticipated.

Before this, TikTok has began monetizing search results by placing sponsored content between organic videos. A partnership with IMDb announced earlier this 2023 allows creators to link films and TV shows in their videos, and IMDb links and snippets also appear in some search results.