Kids spend nearly 2 hrs/day on TikTok – some prefer it over Google for searching

TikTok's grip on Gen Z revealed

Qustodio’s latest annual data report, entitled Born connected: The rise of the AI generation, revealed that children spent a global average of 112 minutes a day on TikTok in 2023 – making it the most-used social media app for kids.

More than 40% of kids used TikTok in the US – but that’s small change compared with Spain where 61% of kids were fans of the app. France and the UK followed closely behind with half of all kids having TikTok. 

The study also showed that TikTok screentime was higher for kids in the US and UK with 120 and 127 minutes a day respectively, and that globally, kids spent 60% more time on the app than on YouTube. It’s also the social media app most likely to be blocked by parents. 

And it seems that Gen Zers are doing more on TikTok than just watching videos. 

A recent study by Adobe showed that 64% of young people have used TikTok as a search tool to find information, answers to questions, recipes, and more. 

The survey of 808 consumers also showed that nearly 1 in 10 Gen Zers prefer to search on TikTok rather than Google. This shows a shift in how young people are using social media – as an information-seeking tool rather than simply a source of frivolous entertainment.  

TikTok & Gen Z

Why is TikTok becoming popular as a search engine for Gen Zers?

Gen Zers say that TikTok is the most addictive social media platform and with children spending an average of nearly 2 hours a day on the app, it’s clear that TikTok knows how to grip young attention. 

The survey showed that new recipes was the most popular search subject (36%) on TikTok followed by new music (35%) , DIY tips (34%), and fashion advice (30%). This suggests that when younger generations search for content, they favor first-hand experiences and accounts rather than something more generic and amalgamated. 

What about AI?

There’s no doubt that the way people are searching online is changing. The Adobe survey found that more than 1 in 10 people used ChatGPT to search for information – with 1 in 20 going as far as asking the AI-powered chatbot for advice on their personal finances.

When you consider that 20% of children have already embraced ChatGPT, we could be seeing the start of a huge shift in internet searching. 

For more valuable insights into the app use and technology habits of children, read the full report: Born connected: The rise of the AI generation

The extensive survey is a result of studying over 400,000 families and schools around the world, with further insights into the digital lives of children in the US, UK, Spain, Australia, and France.


To read the full report on children’s digital habits in 2023, download the PDF version, or head to Born connected: The rise of the AI generation on


For enquiries and interview requests regarding this report, contact