TikTok and Instagram have become competitors as both platforms have been investing heavily in short vertical videos. However, both platforms offer more than that – and while Instagram has decided to move away from offering shopping experiences, TikTok is now working on shopping features for brands.
TikTok to let users buy products directly from its app
As reported by AdAge (via Matt Navarra), TikTok has quietly launched an in-app checkout feature in the US that lets brands sell their products directly on TikTok. The platform has invited some brands like pop culture product boutique Pacsun and beauty brand KimChi Chic to offer their products on TikTok.
Brands that offer a shopping experience on TikTok will have a small bag icon on their profile. There, users can explore a product catalog with images, videos, description, and prices. Users can also add products from different stores to the same cart. The move comes as more and more people, especially teenagers, are using TikTok as a search engine.
But this doesn’t mean that TikTok will be successful with its shopping experience. That’s because Instagram tried to do the exact same thing, but the results weren’t good. Shopping features on Instagram were added in 2018 and became a dedicated tab in the app in 2020. Earlier this year, Meta confirmed that the Shop tab would be removed from the app.
Instagram has told its employees that it is shifting its efforts from e-commerce to the advertisements business. On Wednesday, Instagram also announced that it is shutting down the Live Shopping feature, which lets creators tag products in live broadcasts. Even so, Meta claims that it will continue to offer shopping features on Instagram.
It’s uncertain when TikTok will expand its shopping features to more locations and brands. And of course, whether Instagram’s main competitor will succeed where Meta’s platform has failed.