Of course TikTok is going to become an online shopping platform

It was inevitable.

by Roisin Lanigan
08 February 2021, 11:54am

Image via YouTube

If your FYP has become increasingly filled with videos from small businesses selling everything from scented candles and wax melts to upcycled vintage garms, then the news that TikTok is officially becoming an online shopping platform will probably not come as a huge surprise. With many users already using the video sharing app to promote their side hustles and sell their creations, it makes sense that TikTok, following the lead of Facebook and Instagram, will soon be marketing themselves officially as not just a social media platform, but an e-commerce one too. 

And not just any e-commerce platform, but one set to rival Facebook, according to a report by the Financial Times. The plan, set to roll out in 2021, will reportedly see TikTok allow its most popular users to share links to products and earn commissions on any clickthrough sales, bringing a new meaning to the “TikTok made me buy it” trend. Creators will be able to link to products they like even without being officially sponsored by the brand, which sounds kind of similar to tagging an #AD or #GIFT in a post.  

So far, so Instagram, right? But TikTok wants to go even further than that, embracing full QVC vibes this year. Supposedly the app is testing “livestream” shopping, where you can buy things in real time after seeing them showcased by TikTok’s top creators. 

TikTok, and its parent company, China’s ByteDance, are staying schtum about the plans reported by FT, so details about the planned roll-out aren’t readily available just yet. But if during the course of the pandemic your online shopping habit has already spiralled so out of control that you’re actually embarrassed to see the postman arrive with your packages at this point, then maybe it’s time to put down the phone and stop the FYP scrolling. For the sake of the planet but also for the sake of your bank balance.

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