February 11, 2021

TikTok unveils e-commerce drive to challenge Facebook et al

THE WHAT? TikTok is said to be gearing up for a huge e-commerce push throughout the U.S. according to the Financial Times, with sources stating they have viewed new features set to be introduced this year.

THE DETAILS The social media site is set to challenge competitor Facebook with the new feature rollout, which are reported to include one that allows users to share links to products and receive automatic commission on sales.

Other features include the rollout of live stream shopping where users can purchase items direct from their mobile phones. Brands are also set to be able to publish their catalogues via the app.

THE WHY? Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, the developments will see TikTok go head to head with Facebook, which has capitalized on social media e-commerce with both its name sake site and Instagram.

Talking to the FT, Jack Smyth, Creative Technology Officer at WPP’s Mindshare, said, “It feels like TikTok is about to skip [introducing a] desktop [experience] and go straight into commerce.

“Culturally, TikTok is well placed for livestreamed commerce to capture the dissolving distinction between content and commerce because it doesn’t feel as polished as other platforms.”

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