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For Gen Z, TikTok Is the New Search Engine

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When Ja’Kobi Moore decided to apply this year to a private high school in her hometown of New Orleans, she learned that she needed at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher. She had never asked for one, so she sought help.“Teacher letter of recommendation,” she typed into TikTok’s search bar.Ms. Moore, 15, scrolled TikTok’s app until she found two videos: one explaining how to ask teachers for a recommendation letter and the other showing a template for one. Both had been made by teachers and were easier to understand than a Google search result or YouTube video, said Ms. Moore, who is planning to talk to her teachers this month.TikTok is known for its viral dance videos and pop music. But for Generation Z, the video app is increasingly a search engine, too.More and more young people are using TikTok’s powe …

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