TikTok Video Platform Launches In-App Shopping Feature


Video platform TikTok has launched an in-app feature that allows users to shop for products related to a sponsored Hashtag Challenge.

The feature, called Hashtag Challenge Plus, prompts users to post videos of themselves using a product or participating in some sort of manufactured viral trend. And a separate tab allows users to buy products from the campaign within TikTok itself.

Kroger became the first brand to participate in the campaign last week, partnering with four TikTok influencers — Joey Klaasen, Cosette Rinab, Mia Finney and Victoria Bachlet — to prompt TikTok viewers to post videos of their dorm makeovers using the hashtag #TransformUrDorm. There was also a dedicated brand page where viewers could shop for products, including a popcorn maker, a box of snack bars, a toaster and other items.

Since it launched, the hashtag has received 477 million views across hundreds of videos.

TikTok confirmed to reporters that Kroger was the first to participate in the challenge last week, but would not reveal if other campaigns were in the works.

In June it was reported that TikTok was starting to focus on monetization and advertising. The company already generates some revenue from in-app purchases — about $9 million in May, which is a 500 percent year-over-year growth rate.

The app, which is based in Beijing and owned by ByteDance, has been more focused on growth than revenue. The app doesn’t charge for filters or video effects, but users can purchase TikTok coins to buy gifts for other streamers.

The company is especially focused on India, where it has 200 million users, 120 million of whom are active. TikTok is the most downloaded app in the country, a distinction it took from Facebook in Q1 of this year.  Now, the company wants to get more advertisers. It recently signed on brands like Pepsi, Myntra, Shopclues and Shaadi.com, among others.