YouTube Testing In-App Shopping In Shorts

YouTube is adding new shopping features to its short-form video platform, according to a story first reported by the Financial Times. Adopting a model similar to that of social media rivals TikTok and Instagram, Shorts will allow users to make purchases as they scroll through their feeds.

Expected to roll out sometime next year for users in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil, and India, creators will receive a 45% share of ad revenue once the program launches. YouTube has said it has plans to extend the program to other countries in the future.

This is the latest move from the video-sharing platform to become an ecommerce destination, following the 2020 release of shoppable ads and livestream shopping, which began in 2021.

Affiliate Marketing Program Also In The Works

In addition to the new shopping features, YouTube plans to implement an affiliate marketing program to pay select content creators a commission on sales generated by product promotion.

“It is very much an endorsement model, versus a more traditional advertising model or a paid-placement model,” Michael Martin, YouTube’s Shopping General Manager, told the Financial Times. “Our goal is to focus on the best monetization opportunities for creators in the market.”

This program is still in the early testing phase, though it is expected to roll out to more creators in 2023.

Social Media Platforms Seeking New Sources Of Revenue

In the wake of decreased ad spending following the release of iOS 14.5, which allowed iPhone users to opt-out of tracking, and with fears of an economic downturn looming, many social media sites have been seeking new ways to monetize content, both for themselves and creators.

As a largely uncharted territory, there have been hits and misses. For example, Facebook ended its live shopping service earlier this year to put more emphasis on Reels, its short-from video service that directly competes with YouTube Shorts and TikTok. It kept Facebook Live but eliminated the ability for ecommerce merchants to tag products or create product playlists.

Last week, TikTok rolled out its in-app shopping feature in the U.S. This functionality, already available in the U.K. and Indonesia, allows users to make purchases without leaving the platform.

TikTok is also building fulfillment centers within the United States as it strives to capitalize on its more than 1 billion users worldwide.

Source: The Financial Times

Featured Image: Claudio Divizia/Shutterstock

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