Tencent’s Acquisition of Sogou Changed The Game of Mobile Search
- On September 4, 2020
- Tencent search, WeChat search
Tencent has huge information flow in China. Once Tencent acquires Sogou and enables to improve its search technology, Tencent’s competitive advantage will expand.
As of March 1 this year, Tencent holds 39.20% of Sogou. By the end of 2019, the top three search engine market shares were Baidu, Sogou, Shenma, and Sogou ranked second.
Tencent is obviously not satisfied with being an investor in the search market. The current mobile search competition is intensifying. At present, although Baidu still dominates the market, 360, Alibaba, ByteDance, etc. are all increasing their investment in mobile search. ByteDance launched headline search, Alibaba has Shenma search, 360 has HaoSou. These IT giants joining the competition will change the existing pattern of mobile search.
For Tencent, PC search is difficult to shake the dominance of Baidu, but there are opportunities for mobile search. Tencent WeChat is the largest traffic portal on the mobile terminal, and has formed a relatively closed social ecology. This means that it is difficult for other competitors to obtain search traffic from WeChat.
As a result, WeChat launched “Have a search” to fully revitalize its huge traffic pool. WeChat “Have a search” is not only open to Sogou, but also continues to accept other partners.
Tencent’s acquisition of Sogou may trigger a new pattern of mobile search. After acquiring Sogou, Tencent will not only be able to acquire its existing share in the search market, but also more mature search technology capabilities, thereby improving more functions of WeChat “Have a search”. Tencent can also use Sogou technology as the basis to improve the search accuracy of various information such as graphics, short videos, local life, and e-commerce.
Especially in short video search, short video has become one of the main channels for the young generation of users to obtain daily leisure and entertainment. The demand for quickly obtaining the required content from a large number of short videos is constantly increasing.
ByteDance’s main search is actually TikTok, and daily search requests far exceed headlines. TikTok’s user level and content richness make TikTok a “short video” search engine. Many short video users have established the habit of video search.
In recent years, Tencent has been behind ByteDance in the short video battlefield. Whether it is smart recommendation or content richness, Tencent has weaknesses. To this end, Tencent chose to play the last trump card-WeChat, which is also the video account, but the current response is average.
Tencent’s acquisition of Sogou is obviously preparing to do a big job in mobile search. It remains to be seen whether the acquisition can be successful and whether the information content brought by WeChat traffic, Sogou technology and other ports can be integrated as desired to achieve the miracle of mobile search.
In any case, Tencent will gain more room for development in the short video market.