Voice Search is Declining in Popularity: Only 18% of Respondents Use Voice Search Each Week in 2021, Compared to 53% in 2018

Once considered the future of search technology, the popularity of voice search has declined over the last few years, according to a new report from The Manifest, a business news and how-to guide.

The Manifest’s 2018 study claimed that 53% of respondents use voice search once a week, but only 18% of respondents use it as frequently in 2021.

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Additionally, nearly 60% of respondents claim they never use voice search.

Security concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic, and frustration over poor results may be to blame for the decline.

When using voice search, results can be impacted by background noise, accents, and older technology.

Users complain about having to repeat themselves several times. Often, they give up and conduct a traditional search instead.

Voice Search Has a Promising Future

In 2021, 63% of individuals over 55 have never used voice search technology. At the same time, about 30% of users between the ages of 35–54 (27%) use it at least once a week.

Haim Medine, the co-founder of Mark Henry, a premier jewelry house, argues that younger generations – who grew up using technology — are more likely to rely on voice search.

“Technology is embedded into the culture of the younger generation – children as young as 4 years old are using iPads and tablets,” Medine said. In contrast, older generations trust new technology less.

With many younger users, voice search’s popularity may grow in the future.

Additionally, voice search technology still has several advantages:

  • improves accessibility
  • allows people to multitask
  • simplify daily activities.

Tim O’Brien, the founder of The Healthy Place, a natural vitamin supplement brand, argues that, despite common challenges, voice search makes his life easier.

“Siri has become my virtual assistant, and as she gets to know me better, the more she understands me,” O’Brien said.

Over time, technological advances will make voice search more reliable.

How People Use It Depends on Their Age

The Manifest also reported that younger generations (ages 18–34) are more likely to use voice search to issue commands (27%), while older generations use it to find information (52% of users over 55).

Olivia Tan, co-founder of CocoFax, an online fax solution provider, believes that the root cause of this difference is how people interact with the technology.

“Younger generations use voice search more because of the hands-free quality that allows them to carry out searches while doing other things,” Tan said.

Voice search allows users to make commands while cleaning, cooking, or even driving, safely.

The Manifest’ is2021 Survey included 501 voice search users in the U.S.

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