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Google Trials Featuring TikTok and Instagram Videos at the Top of Mobile Users’ Search Page

Google has previously featured YouTube videos in the carousel of short clips at the top of their mobile users’ search page. The introduction of TikTok and Instagram videos as a new extension of the feature began its testing at the end of December 2020, piloted by Google to retain platform users.

For brands that have a target audience including Millennials and Gen Z, TikTok as a platform is attractive for brand marketing and engagement, with its monthly active users surpassing 1 Billion. The development of this new feature is something brands should consider watching as they plan their 2021 content approach. The feature could act as a tool to broaden marketing potential, as featuring high on a Google search page in a dedicated carousel remains key to maximising discovery.

Influencer Marketing Manager at Formula E, Philip Brown said, “This could have a huge impact on the way that influencer content is able to travel – allowing users to be exposed to posts without actively seeking them out on their native platform(s).” (Source: LinkedIn).

How the feature works

When the user clicks on one of the short videos from TikTok or Instagram featured on their Google search page, they will be directed to the web version of the app, rather than the app itself. This direction process has been set up to keep users in Google, as they can navigate back to their original search bar with only a few clicks of the ‘back’ arrow. 

The feature is not yet embedded for every search query during its test period, after originally surfacing as a test in the Google Discover section – a more personalised content feed that serves to provide users with specific and relevant content tailored to their needs and interests. 
As the feature continues to develop, this could mean good news for brands embracing short-form content as part of their influencer marketing strategies.

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