2nd February 2024

Weekly Prompt: TikTok’s automatic product discovery and more

TikTok is exploring ways to get e-commerce links into more videos

TikTok is continuing its e-commerce transformation, exploring an experimental feature that could potentially turn every video on the platform into a storefront, as reported by Bloomberg.

Currently undergoing limited testing, this new tool automatically identifies products within videos, guiding viewers to explore and purchase similar items on TikTok Shop. This strategic move is part of TikTok's broader ambition to evolve its Shop into a multibillion-dollar e-commerce powerhouse in the United States, challenging established players like Amazon, Temu, and Shein.

Previously, only approved influencers and brands had the privilege of tagging products in their content. With the introduction of this new feature, TikTok aims to democratize the shoppable experience, bringing e-commerce links to a broader array of videos on the platform.

Despite the impressive numbers—over 5 million new U.S. customers purchased items via TikTok Shop during the recent Black Friday and Cyber Monday season—TikTok's user growth has started to show signs of slowing. This raises the question of whether the slowdown might be associated with the app’s TikTok Shop expansion, a development that has left some users expressing their disappointment.

In addition to the shoppable video feature, TikTok is exploring other strategies to enhance its e-commerce endeavours. The company is reportedly planning to open studios in Los Angeles, allowing creators to livestream and sell products, providing them with an alternative to recording promotional videos at home.

Sources: Bloomberg, MediaPost,  The Verge, TechCrunch

Additional prompts

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Threads is working on a ‘Trends’ feature the company has confirmed. Instagram head Adam Mosseri confirmed that “we are working on surfacing trends” — a feature that would give it a more competitive offering in terms of providing access to more real-time news and information. Read more

Sideways TikToks may be on the horizon, as TikTok has begun asking some users to submit horizontally-oriented videos. This move appears to be part of an effort to diversify content types, aligning with TikTok's ongoing Creativity Program. The program encourages creators to share longer videos in various styles and formats, aiming to expand the platform's content pool. Read more

Spotify is expanding its partnership with Snapchat to introduce a new way for users to share their favourite songs on the social app. A new “Share Track Lens” feature lets you capture the world around you on camera while sharing a song. The lens will overlay the song title, artist name, cover art and a link to listen to the track on Spotify. Read more

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