TikTok reportedly rolls out in-app shopping feature

TikTok is reportedly offering a social commerce option for creators. According to a tweet by Fabien Bern, founder and growth director of UPLAB, a Chinese influencer agency specialising in TikTok, TikTok has allegedly rolled out a "link in bio" and "social commerce URLs" in videos. Bern added in a subsequent tweet that the function is currently in public beta and is offered to selected creators, such as the best performing ones.

BREAKING: TikTok launches 'link in bio' & 'social commerce URLS' in videos @MattNavarra @TaylorLorenz @sarahintampa @TechCrunch @thenextweb @techinasia #tiktok pic.twitter.com/HczzHOHCNf

? Fabian ??? (@iamfabianbern) November 14, 2019

 

It's in public beta right now and only selected (e.g. best performing) creators have access to it.

? Fabian ??? (@iamfabianbern) November 14, 2019 According to Bern, the news was also leaked by TikTok. Pointing to a statement on Zhihu, a Chinese question-and-answer website, a user asked if TikTok would be launching the shopping cart function. In response, one user said: "Internal news, it will be in public data but even if it is, you will not have access to it as only creators with highly ranked accounts have been invited to use the function."

In a statement to?Marketing, TikTok's spokesperson said the social commerce function is currently being tested in the US but declined to reveal any additional roll out plans.

Douyin (Chinese version of TikTok) leaked the information themselves online. https://t.co/0R00I9MrFX

? Fabian ??? (@iamfabianbern) November 14, 2019

Social commerce on the Chinese version of #TikTok. ???? pic.twitter.com/TV4CYmXCor

? Fabian ??? (@iamfabianbern) November 14, 2019

TikTok is not the first platform to move into the social commerce space. In 2016, Instagram allowed users in the US to directly?shop via posts by their favourite brands. Last May, it also launched?a native payment feature which allows users to purchase items without leaving the app. During the same month, Instagram also attempted to drum up awareness of its Shopping function by pinning it to the front of the navigation bar, making it easier for users to find products from brands they love.

In August this year, TikTok tied up with social marketing agency?WeQ INFLUENCERS to offer?brands and app developers with exclusive access to native advertising campaigns, including TikTok influencers on the platform. Last month, the platform said it will?not allow political ads explaining that any?paid ads that come into the community need to fit the standards for its platform, and the nature of paid political ads does not fit the TikTok platform experience.

Recently, TikTok's?director of communication of Southeast Asia and India, Belle Baldoza, joined Airbnb as head of communication looking over Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Prior to TikTok, Baldoza worked with brands such as Uber, Spotify and Netflix.

(Read also: TikTok concludes hunt for global media partner)

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