YouTube Shorts will now let you shop while watching videos
YouTube has decided to venture into social commerce. The world's largest video streaming platform is introducing shopping features to its site in an attempt to diversify its revenue stream. TikTok rival Shorts is the one getting the new feature. Users will be able to buy products while scrolling through the short videos. YouTube's ad revenue had taken a hit in the last quarter.
Why does this story matter?
- It seems YouTube has understood depending on ads alone won't cut it anymore. Digital advertising is at its worse at the moment, and many tech giants, including Meta and Snap, have fallen victim to this.
- YouTube has taken a cure from that and has decided to enlarge its horizon before it's late. And what's a better pick for that than up-and-coming social commerce space?
Users will be able to buy products while watching Shorts
YouTube Shorts are becoming more than just short and fun videos. Users will be able to buy products while watching these short-form videos from now on. The video streaming site's first attempt at social commerce comes amid missing analyst target for advertising revenue for the first time in the previous quarter. YouTube's ad revenue slipped to $7.07 billion from $7.2 billion year-over-year.
What is social commerce?
YouTube isn't the only one exploring social commerce. Its rivals Meta and TikTok have also entered the fray. Social commerce, where consumers buy products on social networks, is considered the future of e-commerce. The market is expected to grow more than $2 trillion by 2025. Social commerce is an endorsement model which is growing in popularity among Gen Z users.
YouTube is paying commissions to creators that sell products
Users in the US, Brazil, India, Canada, and Australia will be able to buy products while scrolling through YouTube Shorts. However, YouTube's e-commerce experiments don't end there. The company is currently piloting an 'affiliate marketing' program with certain US creators. It pays commissions to those who sell products. It is also testing live shopping, where users can buy products during a live broadcast.
Shopping through Shorts is aimed at Gen Z users
Michael Martin, YouTube Shopping's general manager said, "Our goal is to focus on the best monetization opportunities for creators in the market." He said that social commerce provides an avenue for Gen Z users who favor "queryless video-based interactions" where they don't have to actively search for products. "That is the way they prefer to consume information about products," he added.