For the longest time, TikTok has been known as an entertainment or media-based app. The video app gained tremendous popularity across the world for the ease with which it enabled its users to post short-format videos on its platform. The app gave users the freedom to upload videos of any kind and as many as they wish to on their profiles. The only catch was that the length of the video could not be more than 60 seconds.
In the recent past, TikTok made headlines for all the wrong reasons. From accusations ranging from the app being a threat to national security to facing a ban in India, TikTok had to deal with a lot of controversies. There have been several instances when a company emerged stronger after going through a rough phase.
The difficulties which ByteDance, the Chinese company which owns TikTok, faced in the recent past doesn’t seem to have deterred its spirit. Despite being mired in controversy, the app has only become more popular with time, and now, the company is planning to expand it further.
According to a report by the Financial Times, TikTok is planning to get into the e-commerce space in the United States in a big way. The publication made this claim after getting information from sources who are aware of TikTok’s plans to integrate new features in its app this year.
One of the upcoming features includes a tool that would enable the most popular users on TikTok to share links to products and earn a sizeable amount as a commission on sales. TikTok also has plans to introduce ‘live-streamed’ shopping on its platform. It would largely be a mobile phone version of the kind of shows or content one gets to see on shopping channels on the television. The users can have a look at a large variety of products and buy anything they wish to with just a tap on the screen. It might also collaborate with different brands and ask them to advertise their catalog on the app.
Jack Smyth, creative technology officer at Mindshare (the company which is a part of WPP), stated that instead of launching a desktop experience for its user, TikTok is planning to dive into the e-commerce space. According to Smyth, e-commerce is a good space for TikTok to explore as it has a large base of users who follow its content and this group of users can also be driven towards their e-commerce platform whenever it launches.
According to Financial Times, the new tools or features on TikTok will put it in direct competition with Facebook Inc. as far as e-commerce spending is concerned. There is also a possibility of TikTok putting up their ads online on their own without the help of a sales representative.