New shopping features and affiliate marketing are to be introduced to YouTube Shorts

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Followed by the release of shoppable ads and livestream shopping in 2020 and 2021, YouTube is adding a brand-new shopping feature to its short-form video platform, YouTube Shorts, as first reported by The Financial Times.

In-app shopping feature in Shorts

The new shopping feature allows influencers to tag their products in Shorts and viewers can purchase the items as they scroll through their feeds, which is a similar feature to other social media platforms, like TikTok and Instagram. Content creators will be given 45% share of the ad revenue as said by YouTube. The new function is expected to be launched next year for users in the US, Brazil, India, Canada, and Australia. YouTube is also planning to reach out the program to other countries in the future.

Affiliate Marketing

Besides the new in-app shopping function, YouTube is also testing on an affiliate marketing program that offers select Shorts creators a commission on sales for promoting a product.

New way for social media platforms to expand revenue

YouTube is not the only platform to seek new revenue sources, TikTok and Meta have also invested in the same field. Just a few days before Youtube’s announcement, TikTok revealed that they were testing on a long-awaited Shop program that allows users to purchase in app directly without leaving the platform. The feature was available in the UK and parts of Southeast Asia. For instance, TikTok is also planning to build fulfilment centers in the US to handle customer service, warehousing and returns in order to cater to the expansion.

On the other hand, Instagram (owned by Meta) allows influencers to share products in livestreams and shopping tab. Users can scroll through recommended products and make purchases. Brands can also modify their profiles through product catalogs to make it shoppable.

As we can see, digital giants are seeking new ways to monetise content, not only for themselves but also creators. They are gradually reaching their hands into the e-commerce field, forming a fresh way of shopping in the future.

Reference:Search Engine Journal, The Verge, Tech Crunch

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