TikTok is testing a new feature that aims to make all videos posted on the social media platform shoppable, allowing viewers to easily find and purchase products featured in videos.
Using advanced technology, TikTok’s new feature automatically identifies objects in a video and prompts viewers to “find similar items on TikTok Shop,” Bloomberg reported Monday (Jan. 29).
This feature was previously only available to approved influencers and brands, according to the report.
The testing of this feature is TikTok’s latest move as it works to establish a multi-billion-dollar eCommerce business in the United States, the report said.
Last year, the Chinese social media company launched TikTok Shop in the U.S., aiming to combine the convenience of shopping on platforms like Amazon with the product discovery aspect of social media sites like Instagram, per the report.
With this shop, TikTok hopes to generate $17.5 billion in eCommerce volume in the U.S. this year, according to the report.
The launch of TikTok Shop has received mixed reviews thus far, the report said. Some merchants interviewed by Bloomberg praised the app, reporting record sales for their small businesses during the holiday season, thanks to TikTok’s discounts and free shipping offers. However, users have expressed concerns about counterfeit and knockoff products being sold on the platform, as well as the number of ad-like posts from influencers.
The new feature now being tested aims to address these concerns by linking products to regular users’ posts without the hard sell, per the report. This approach is designed to provide a more enjoyable experience for visitors who primarily seek entertainment.
While the new feature is still in its testing phase, it has already shown potential for improvement, the report said. Bloomberg found that the items being surfaced by the feature are not always a perfect match to the video content.
PYMNTS Intelligence has found that social media has become a powerful tool for consumers to discover and purchase products. Forty-three percent of consumers browse social media to find goods and services, according to “Tracking the Digital Payments Takeover: Monetizing Social Media,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and AWS collaboration.