Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

TikTok is the new Google. Or so some people say. As TikTok grows, Google, in particular, has begun to describe the app as a whole new way of creating and consuming the internet and maybe an existential threat to its own search engine. Prabhakar Raghavan, the SVP of search at Google, said in July that “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.” More recently, The New York Times and others have talked to young internet users and found that, in fact, they’re turning to TikTok for more and more of what you might call Google-able things.

On one hand, there’s nothing particularly surprising about this: the internet is…

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