Like its competitors Instagram and Snapchat, TikTok is expanding partnerships to offer more services to its users. The social network specializing in short-format videos announces on August 24 that it is working with the e-commerce platform Shopify to enable shopping directly from its app. TikTok also announces the launch of Effect Studio, a platform for developers who want to create augmented reality effects.
Make up for it
Although TikTok is full of influencers who promote products between choreographies, the application does not allow their direct purchase. Significant delay compared to Facebook applications, which are duplicating updates to make their WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger applications the right e-commerce tools.
Still, according to a study conducted by TikTok in the fall with London-based market research firm Walnut Unlimited, the app led two-thirds of users to buy even though they hadn’t planned to. Hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit, understand “what TikTok made me buyr “, has 4.6 billion views.
For now and as part of this new partnership, only Shopify merchants participating in the pilot program will be able to add a shopping card to their profile and product links in TikTok posts. Shopify said it will bring this feature to the U.S., UK and Canada in the coming weeks. The company added that it plans to expand this function to all its retailers.
Shopify currently works with 1.7 million retailers. The company told the New York Times that sales on its social commerce channels, including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, grew by 76% between February 2020 and February 2021. Unlike Instagram Shop, the online retail giant will use TikTok as a showcase and support for purchases and transactions.
A step towards augmented reality
In order to compete with its competitors, TikTok does not stop at online stores. The social network also drives augmented reality experiences. According to TechCrunch, TikTok has confirmed the launch of a new website called Effect Studio. This project is still in its early stages and is only offered as a private beta in a select few markets, such as the United States.
Like Facebook and Snapchat, Tiktok invites developers through this initiative to create augmented reality filters that users can then use to produce content. On a new page launched for the occasion and called Effect House, TikTok allows interested developers to register for early access to Effect Studio. It is difficult to know at this stage whether this initiative will be deployed on a larger scale. Asked by TechCrunch, TikTok called Effect Studio an early “experiment”, recalling that some of its tools don’t always work until launch.
Taking the example of Snapchat, which recently bought Vertebrae, TikTok may eventually combine the two offerings to offer a platform that combines online shopping and virtual reality.