As much as Google has always focused on selling advertising to make YouTube profitable, that could change soon. According to information confirmed this week, the platform should soon start selling products listed by content creators.
Apparently, Google seems to be taking inspiration from the transformation of Instagram. The social network has created a tab dedicated to selling products within its platform, something that expands user engagement and at the same time provides a source of extra income.
Google is currently testing the shopping function in Canada through a partnership with retailer Shopify.
Instead of watching a video and clicking on links in the description to buy the product, Google should allow the viewer to be able to purchase any device through YouTube itself.
For now, the tests allow the content creator to be able to list up to 10 products he intends to sell, but it is still unclear whether YouTube will share part of the profit with the video producer. Andy Ellwood, president of e-commerce startup Basket, commented:
YouTube is one of the least explored assets by Google. If they want to turn the platform into a big mall, this is a great opportunity. Facebook is ahead in this game, but YouTube’s potential is much greater.
It should be noted that Google CEO Sundar Pichai himself hinted at the news during a lecture. He said that unboxing videos can be turned into a sales opportunity, something similar to what TikTok – Doyin – has been doing in China.