With a user base of more than two billion, YouTube dominates as one of the biggest video streaming services in the world.
The platform hosts a lot of free content, and now, if a new report is anything to go by, its parent company Google is looking to make it a major e-commerce player.
Here is all you need to know about it.
Multiple people familiar with the internal plans at YouTube have informed Bloomberg that the video site may soon offer e-commerce capabilities.
Specifically, the company is testing the idea of giving its viewers a chance to directly purchase the products that feature in the videos posted by creators.
It would work right on YouTube rather than redirecting you to a different shopping site.
To turn the videos into a shopping place, YouTube has already started making certain changes and has asked a few creators to use its software to tag and track products appearing in their videos.
This data will be sent to Google for building out analytics and shopping tools for YouTube. The company is also testing integration with Shopify to sell via YouTube.
When quizzed by Bloomberg, a YouTube's spokesperson confirmed that the company is testing features to make YouTube a shopping hub, where hundreds of thousands of videos present a catalog of products to explore and buy.
However, the representative described the work as an experiment with a limited number of channels and denied providing any other detail beyond that.
As of now, it remains unclear when YouTube decides to build on this plan and enable online shopping for billions of its users.
The spokesperson for the company didn't say how they plan to generate revenue from sales happening through the videos, but they did emphasize that creators will have full control over the items displayed on their channels.
The plan to move into e-commerce makes sense for YouTube, given that a large chunk of its creator community already shares videos featuring products from categories ranging from gadgets, gaming, photography to makeup.
Currently, creators post other sites' links to make money on top of regular ad-revenue, but this change could bring Google into the loop while ensuring similar earnings for creators.
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