YouTube Brings Product Recommendations to Videos

The new tool will display products featured in a video to YouTube users in the US.

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Need to Know

  • YouTube is testing a new automated feature that creates a list of products seen in videos, according to a blog post published by the company.
  • The feature, which will also list recommended products that are similar to those that appear in a video, will appear in between recommended videos, below the video player.
  • YouTube’s product listing feature will be visible to individuals watching YouTube videos in the US.

Analysis

As more social media platforms experiment with ways to leverage e-commerce, YouTube is launching a new feature that allows viewers to see a list of products featured in a video.

The new feature, which will be visible to those watching YouTube videos in the US, will create an automated list of products seen in videos, as well as recommended products that are similar to those featured. The list will be displayed between recommended videos when the viewer scrolls down from the main video player. The goal of the new tool, according to a blog post published on YouTube’s company blog, is to “help people explore more videos and information about those products on YouTube.”

The new feature could offer substantial advertising benefits to Google and its partners, who could control which of their products are displayed as related products, based on those displayed in a given video. The tool will also make it easier for consumers to purchase products or items recommended by influencers or trusted content creators.

E-commerce has been a cornerstone of YouTube’s partnerships and feature releases in recent months, as the company — which is owned by Google — aims to capitalize on the increase in popularity of online shopping, as well as the ease with which consumers are becoming accustomed to purchasing products directly from social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

The company’s recently-revealed 2021 roadmap was anchored by a commitment to e-comm, with YouTube announcing in February that integrated shopping will expand across the platform later this year. At the time, Chief Product Officer Neil Mohan wrote in a blog post on the company’s website that beta testing a shopping integration is an “opportunity to meet the growing demand for e-commerce”.

YouTube’s expansion of its integrated e-comm plans came just months after the platform launched shoppable ads, which allow brands to convert video ads into storefronts. The company also dipped its toes into livestream shopping in 2020 with QVC, which launched its first livestream shopping channel on YouTube earlier this month. Last year, YouTube also began testing a Shopify integration that allows creators to list as many as 12 items for sale on a digital carousel below their videos.

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