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YouTube Unveils Features to Boost Creators’ Shopping Revenue

In an effort to empower content creators and maximize revenue potential, YouTube has unveiled features that simplify the marketing and sale of products within videos.

These additions aim to enhance the shopping experience for viewers while providing creators with additional opportunities to monetize their content, according to a Wednesday (Oct. 18) report from TechCrunch.

Over the past year, YouTube has been steadily rolling out tools for shopping directly from videos. Collaborating with Shopify, the platform enabled merchants to showcase their products in videos. It also expanded livestream shopping capabilities and incorporated shopping features into YouTube Shorts. Now, YouTube is taking further steps to connect consumers with the products featured by creators.

YouTube has introduced a timestamps feature, which allows creators to prompt viewers to shop for specific items at relevant points in their videos, TechCrunch reported.

For instance, if a creator is demonstrating a favorite gadget or beauty product, they can add a timestamp to activate the shopping button for that particular item. Per TechCrunch, YouTube conducted tests in the U.S. and discovered that viewers who saw these timestamps clicked on tagged products twice as often. However, this feature is currently limited to long-form content and not available for Shorts. Moreover, videos must be at least a minute long, with a maximum of 30 seconds between timestamps.

Another tool enables creators to tag affiliate products across their entire video library in bulk, including past videos. Creators can access the Shopping tab in YouTube Studio, where they can view a list of videos featuring products mentioned in the description. From there, they can select the videos they wish to tag, make necessary adjustments, and save the changes. This feature allows creators to monetize their back catalog of videos that still receive views.

YouTube is also teasing forthcoming insights and analytics for affiliate products, TechCrunch noted. Creators will gain access to metrics such as sales, orders, offer clicks, and impressions through the Studio’s “Analytics” tab under “Revenue” and “Affiliate program.” These analytics will provide data for creators to track the performance of their affiliate products and make informed decisions.

These updates from YouTube come at a time when social media platform TikTok is also expanding its eCommerce features in the U.S.

TikTok’s efforts include a dedicated shop tab, live video shopping, shoppable ads, and affiliate programs for creators, which launched last November

Small businesses and content creators have taken to the platform to grow their audience and boost sales. In a PYMNTS interview, Sujatha Mamidibathula, the head of SMB at TikTok, said two factors were needed for a small business to succeed on the platform: authenticity and consistency.