YouTube Tests Product Tags in Selected Creator Videos as Part of Larger Shift Towards eCommerce


This move that YouTube has taken might be a bit surprising to most of the platform watchers. YouTube is planning on a new process that will make YouTubers able to put tags on products shown on their videos, that in the end will lead to more direct shopping options on the platforms.

According to Bloomberg:

“[YouTube] recently started asking creators to use YouTube software to tag and track products featured in their clips. […] The goal is to convert YouTube’s bounty of videos into a vast catalog of items that viewers can peruse, click on and buy directly, according to people familiar with the situation. The company is also testing a new integration with Shopify Inc. for selling items through YouTube.”

This is not the first time for YouTube to venture into eCommerce. In 2018, YouTube has added ‘shelf’ for product tie-ins, that makes YouTubers able to show their branded products below the videos.


Earlier this year YouTube added ‘merch alerts’ as well, for live-streams as another way to assist YouTubers to raise awareness of their products. Also, it has AR try-on videos for tutorials and ad tools related to eCommerce. This can also be used to give more means for YouTubers to generate direct profit from their video content.

However, tagging products in the videos can add another level of awareness. With this, YouTube would basically be focusing on particular items in a video frame, that can then tap on as the video is playing to get more info about the product.

Indeed, this is what all video platforms are now moving towards. For example, TikTok, that is looking to start its profit process to ensure its users to get pain, started testing tappable products on their videos last year.

eCommerce will be the major element in the future of TikTok’s expansion. The Chinese version of the application ‘Douyin’ has witnessed a great success by the eCommerce integration in the application.

Douyin eCommerce

Douyin has made more than $122M profit last year, most of it was made by eCommerce, which is more than double what TikTok brought in. That is a clear measure of where TikTok will be evolving, and though Walmart is working to buy it, with a plan of expansion of the eCommerce goals, it looks like evidence that the next level of expanding video monetization will concentrate on the in-stream buying, and giving way for users to shop for the items shown in these videos.