ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, is now part of the search market as it rolls out its own search engine today.
The new search engine, called Toutiao Search, is an extension of an existing news aggregator which is also owned by ByteDance.
Toutiao Search pulls in results from the web and other properties owned by ByteDance. However, as is the case with search engines in China, the results are censored.
When searching for a breaking news topic, for example, users will only see results from state-approved media outlets in China.
Given that Toutiao Search is geared toward people in China, it’s unlikely to ever be a threat to Google.
Baidu, the leading search engine in China with 76% market share, only has 1.21% market market share worldwide.
Considering the popularity of ByteDance, Toutiao has the potential to eat into Baidu’s market share.
ByteDance is currently the most highly-valued startup in the world, which is what makes the launch of its own search engine particularly notable.
Not to mention the fact that ByteDance acquired Musical.ly in 2017, turned it into TikTok, and made it the most downloaded social media app within a year.
TikTok was even downloaded more times than Instagram last year.
It will be interesting to see what this company ends up doing in the search engine space. Perhaps, like TikTok, there will eventually be a version made for the worldwide market.