YouTube ventures into video shopping with new feature that lets viewers shop during livestreams


YouTube is set to integrate e-commerce with live streaming in a more seamless manner. The video streaming platform has announced plans to make it possible for its global audience of 2 billion monthly users to shop for products directly from a live-streamed event.

YouTube said, “We’re beta testing a new integrated shopping experience that allows viewers to tap into the credibility and knowledge of trusted creators to make informed purchases directly on YouTube.”

What YouTube’s new feature means

A lot of the content made by creators on YouTube provides information on products, gadgets, services and interesting happenings. Some other creators like TechNext use YouTube to live-stream interesting content like social media reviews and movie reviews.

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If, however, any of these creators wanted to make the products they are talking about available instantly to their audience, the traditional way is to include the link to an online marketplace where viewers can click to buy it.

Source: YouTube

This method of promoting affiliate links for e-commerce is what will change with YouTube’s new feature. Now, when a livestream is on, the viewers can buy what the event host is promoting right from the YouTube page.

Similar to the way most new features are released, the direct shopping feature will first be available to select creators in the beta test. Afterwards, it will be rolled out to creators in every country where the YouTube shopping feature is supported.

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Other social platforms have found ways to bring social commerce into their offerings. Two months ago, Facebook started testing live shopping on its platform with Live Shopping Fridays. The event featured products from 3 brands each Friday and was concluded on July 16.

YouTube is entering the social commerce space with a good deal of momentum. It announced this week that it has acquired Indian video shopping startup, Simsim.

A mash-up of screenshots of the Simsim app
Source: Gadgets 360

As this new feature becomes available to every creator, the Google-owned video streaming platform will most likely be announcing incentives to promote its video shopping services over those of its competitors.

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