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YouTube tests letting viewers buy products shown in a video

By Nadeem Sarwar January 15, 2021, 9:44 am

In what can be called taking a note from Instagram’s books, YouTube is experimenting with a new feature that will let viewers buy a product shown in a video. The company is testing the new shopping trick among a small circle of users in the US market on its Android as well as the iOS app, and desktop too.

YouTube really wants you to go shopping on its massive video platform

“We’re testing a new way for people to easily discover and purchase products featured in YouTube videos. Creators in this pilot can add certain products to their videos. Viewers can then see a list of featured products by clicking the shopping bag icon on the bottom left corner of the video. From there, viewers can explore each product’s page to see more information, related videos, and purchase options for that product,” YouTube says on a support page.


YouTube began testing a similar feature in April this year called ‘products in video’ that was supposed to show the products show in a video with new visual elements such as an icon overlay with the product name and other key details about it. As per a Bloomberg report, Google started asking some creators to use its in-house system to tag and track products they show in their videos. These tools will be linked with the analytics and shopping tools provided by Google. Back in December, the YouTube app began testing with a new Shorts icon in the top/bottom row to let users quickly view YouTube Shorts.

This is an experimental feature, and might not see a wider release

But as mentioned earlier, the new product shopping tool is a close circle experimental feature, so it will be visible only to a small number of users. Also, the new shopping feature is part of what the company calls ‘YouTube feature experiments’ which usually involves testing new tools for a very short span of time. And as such, it is quite likely that this feature might never be released widely.


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