Looking to position itself as a player in search, TikTok offers iOS, Android search widgets

Looking to position itself as a player in search, TikTok offers iOS, Android search widgets
Hey TikTok fans, if you use an iPhone there is now a TikTok search widget available. It's part of the platform's attempt to be seen as a search engine instead of just a social media site. Earlier this year, according to Mashable, an ad ran in the U.K. that proclaimed, "Search it with TikTok." Last year, Google Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, who heads Google’s Knowledge & Information unit, said that social media sites like Instagram and TikTok as being used as tools for certain search queries.

TikTok advertises itself as a search tool in the U.K.

Raghavan said, "We keep learning, over and over again, that new internet users don’t have the expectations and the mindset that we have become accustomed to. These users don’t tend to type in keywords but rather look to discover content in new, more immersive ways. He added, "In our studies, something like almost 40% of young people, when they’re looking for a place for lunch, they don’t go to Google Maps or Search. They go to TikTok or Instagram."

Another source, regulatory agency Ofcom (short for Office of Communications), which oversees the broadcasting, telecommunications, and postal industries in the U.K., said that TikTok is the fastest-growing source of news among U.K. adults. Considering that a recent lawsuit filed by a former ByteDance executive accused the Chinese Communist Party of using TikTok as a propaganda outlet, Ofcom's survey might be a concern to UK lawmakers. Byte Dance is TikTok's parent company.

A TikTok search widget is also available for Android users and both platforms feature multiple TikTok widgets. Here's how you can add the TikTok search widget to your phone. On iOS, long-press on some open home screen real estate until the icons go into "jiggle mode." Tap the "+" button on the upper left hand of the screen. Type TikTok into the "Search Widgets" field at the top of the display and tap on the result. Swipe through all of the TikTok widgets until you find the one marked "Search," and tap on the blue "Add Widget" button at the bottom of the screen. Once the widget is in place, tap on the "Done" button on the upper right of the screen.

If you have an Android device, long-press on some open home screen real estate until you see a pop-up that gives you three options: Wallpaper & style, Widgets, and Home settings. Tap on Widgets. Type TikTok into the search field at the top of the display. Press on the result and you'll see all of the TikTok widgets available. Find the Search widget by scrolling down, long-press on the widget and it will be placed where there is room available on your phone.

Keep in mind that you must have the TikTok app installed on your phone in order to access the widgets. On iOS, you can install the controversial app by clicking on this link. If you use an Android device, the TikTok app is available by tapping on this link.

Montana is a signature away from banning TikTok

There are bills floating around the U.S. to ban the app and Montana is just a signature from the governor away from banning TikTok from any device being used within the state's borders. Additionally, the legislation would prevent any app storefront accessible within the state from listing and offering the TikTok app. Once signed, the new law would go into effect starting next January.

Accusations against TikTok allege that parent firm ByteDance collects personal data from U.S. TikTok users and last summer there was concern that the in-app keyboard on the iOS version of TikTok was collecting keystrokes that would allow ByteDance to obtain personal data.

TikTok delivers vertical short-form videos and has become one of the most popular apps in the world having been installed more than 2 billion times globally.

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