In recent years, content creators and social media celebrities have used merchandise as a handy revenue generator, but the ability to market said products varies depending on the platform. When it comes to TikTok, the short format video app makes it a little more difficult than most for creators to add their own links to content, but that may change, according to a report from The Financial Times (paywall).
More specifically the report says that TikTok has been briefing advertisers on the tools it has developed for use moving forward, one of which would allow creators to add affiliate links to their videos, with creators incentivised to do so in order to take home a commission.
It’s unclear what the cut would be on a sale, so it remains to be seen if this is a viable tool for creators, especially ones that may not have followers that rank in the hundreds of thousands or millions.
Building off of this idea, TikTok is also apparently floating the concept of using live stream videos as a means of selling products, like many of the home shopping channels you find in the US. While it is a clever idea, having young people hawk products with their profiles in order to make a living does raise some ethical questions.
As the Financial Times report notes, this proposed moves, tools and ideas are all part of a greater ecommerce push that TikTok has been mulling over since 2019, with the likes of Shopify already in partnership with the platform.
With multiple services vying for TikTok’s social media crown by debuting their own short video rivals, it looks like the platform will need to find interesting ways of generating money for its creators and itself alike, if it plans to stay ahead of the pack.
For now, these plans remain in the development phase, but we would not be surprised to see an announcement in the offing for the new financial year.