YouTube begins testing shopping features in Shorts

YouTube has begun adding shopping features to its Shorts video service, in an effort to offset lower growth in digital ad revenue.

    YouTube has begun adding shopping features to its Shorts video service, in an effort to offset lower growth in digital ad revenue.

    New shopping features allow users to purchase products while scrolling through Shorts. The company has begun offering Shopping features on Shorts with eligible creators in the US; who are currently experimenting with the ability to display products for sale through their own stores.

    Viewers in the US, India, Brazil, Canada, and Australia can watch price tags and shop through the short video service.

    YouTube plans to continue enabling more creators and countries to display products on the platform.

    YouTube is experimenting with a commercial affiliate program in the US that allows content creators to earn commission by buying products recommended in their short videos.

    The company says: The test is still in its early days, and it plans to gradually expand the experience to include more content creators next year.

    “We firmly believe that YouTube is the best place for creators to build a business, and shopping is part of that,” a YouTube spokesperson told TechCrunch in a message.

    YouTube is seeking to compensate for advertising losses via Shorts

    The news comes a few weeks after YouTube announced that content creators will take 45 percent of ad revenue starting next year.

    And in early 2023, creators will be able to apply to the company’s affiliate program if they meet a new short-form video limit of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million views over 90 days, after which they’ll get 45 percent of the ad revenue from their videos.

    The number of YouTube short clips users exceeded 1.5 billion monthly users, but even with this success, YouTube’s quarterly advertising revenue decreased by 1.9 percent on an annual basis, and it came in below expectations; This is according to Alphabet’s quarterly earnings report, which was announced last month.

    It is possible that YouTube will see the new shopping features as a way to expand its revenue streams amid the declining advertising market.

    Over the past few years, YouTube has been working to turn its platform into a shopping destination by launching products such as shoppable ads and the ability to shop directly from creator-hosted live streams. Given these moves, it makes sense for YouTube to bring shopping features to Shorts as well.

    It is noteworthy that YouTube is not the only digital giant that is betting on the future of shopping, as Tik Tok and Meta have also invested in this field.

    And last week, TikTok silently began testing the TikTok Shop feature in the US. The feature allows users to purchase products directly through the app. Prior to this expansion, the feature was only available in the United Kingdom and parts of Southeast Asia.

    Earlier this year, the company also began piloting TikTok Shopping in the US, UK, and Canada in partnership with Shopify.

    The Meta-owned Instagram service allows content creators to share products in live broadcasts and in the Shopping tab, allowing users to scroll through recommended products and make purchases. Brands can also make personal profiles a place to shop with product catalogs.

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