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TikTok Shop for items from video posts

The TikTok Shop for items in video posts is the next step the Chinese company is taking in expanding product sales directly from the app.

TikTok is experimenting with a feature that has the ability to make items in video posts available for purchase. The move is part of the company's plans to turn TikTok Shop into a billion-dollar e-commerce business in the United States. TikTok confirmed that the feature is currently in limited testing, but did not provide further details.

The new test feature automatically identifies items in videos and guides users to "find similar items on TikTok Shop." In the past, only influencers and approved brands had the ability to tag products. The new feature would bring e-commerce links to more videos on the app.

The news comes as Bloomberg reported a few weeks ago that TikTok aims to increase the size of its US TikTok Shop business tenfold to $17.5 billion this year. With this goal, TikTok would not only aim to compete with Amazon, but also with other Chinese-owned companies such as Temu and Shein, which have become popular in the US. But TikTok has something these other companies don't, which is a wildly popular social network that has the potential to reach millions of buyers.

Related: TikTok is banned in several regions and countries of the world

During the Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday season in November, more than 5 million new customers in the US made a purchase through the TikTok Shop. For context, the social media app currently has about 150 million users in the US.

TikTok Shop for items from video posts

TikTok Shop, officially launched in the US in September 2023, allows creators to tag products to allow users to purchase products from streaming videos and live videos. The new feature would bring TikTok Shop links to regular content on the app, which might not be a welcome change for some.

TikTok Shop for items from video posts
TikTok Shop for items from video posts

New data reveals that TikTok's growth has started to slow, raising the question of whether TikTok Shop's e-commerce efforts could be to blame. In 2022, the number of monthly active users of TikTok grew by an average of 12% annually per quarter, but this figure fell to 3% annually per quarter in 2023. The slowdown comes after the launch of the TikTok Shop in the US.

People debated online whether TikTok Shop had "destroyed" the app, with some lamenting that TikTok Shop was turning the app into an "ad-filled desert".

In addition to bringing TikTok Shop links to more videos on the platform, TikTok is also exploring other ways to boost its e-commerce business. The News reported today that TikTok plans to open studios in Los Angeles where creators can live stream and sell products. Creators currently record promotional videos on their own equipment at home, but some of them will soon have the option to shoot and stream content from studios operated by TikTok.

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