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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

TikTok eyes social commerce as it experiments with shopping links in bios, posts

TikTok is now getting into social commerce segment with its new feature.

tech Updated: Nov 18, 2019 09:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
TikTok takes on Instagram
TikTok takes on Instagram(Bloomberg)
         

TikTok is wading into the world of online shopping. The short-video sharing network has begun experimenting with a new feature that allows creators to add links to e-commerce sites on their bio and posts. According to reports, TikTok will allow viewers to buy products mentioned or featured in the video as well.

The latest feature was first spotted by Fabian Bern. According to the video shared by him, users can swipe on a post to directly visit an e-commerce platform to buy a product.

TikTok’s new feature, if rolled out, will give Facebook and Instagram which have also been making efforts to help content creators monetise their content. Instagram, in particular, has added a bunch of shopping-related features of late. For instance, Instagram is testing in-app payments and also Augmented Reality-based shopping.  

Interestingly enough, Instagram is also working on a TikTok-like mode on its platform. Called Instagram Reels, the mode allows users to make 15-second video clips set to music and share them as Stories.

“We’re always experimenting with new ways to improve the app experience for our users. Ultimately, we’re focused on ways to inspire creativity, bring joy, and add value for our community,” a ByteDance spokesperson told TechCrunch.

TikTok has raced to 1.5 billion downloads worldwide on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. India continues to be the top TikTok markets with 66.8 million or about 31% of all unique installs. According to Sensor Tower data, India drove 277.6 million downloads this year so far, which is approximately 45% of the global installs.

Earlier, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had criticised TikTok over content censorship. “…on TikTok, the Chinese app growing quickly around the world, mentions of these same protests are censored, even here in the US,” he said while addressing Georgetown University in Washington last month.

TikTok, however, denied the allegation saying it is “not influenced by any foreign government.”