TikTok enters online shopping market

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TikTok is “experimenting” with ecommerce as it begins allowing users to add links to their videos and bios directly to retail sites.

The short-form social media app, which has amassed over 1 billion users, will for the first time allow creators to link directly to third-party websites, a move which could potentially have significant ramifications for retailers.

Fabian Bern, influencer and founder of Chinese startup Uplab, first spotted the new feature and showed himself following a link directly from a TikTok video to Amazon in a Twitter video.

It is understood that this functionality is only available to around 20 top influencers at this stage.

TikTok is following in the footsteps of Instagram, which has allowed users to post URLs in their profile bios for some time.

This function is widely used by retailers to link back to their sites both on their own posts and via influencers who they have hired to advertise their goods.

READ MORE: New report finds brands spending 44% more on sponsored Instagram posts since 2018

Instagram’s “checkout” feature, allowing customers to pay for goods directly in-app, is expected to be worth $10 billion in annual revenues, demonstrating the increasing power of “social commerce”.

Influencers have also seen more than a 1000 per cent rise in the prices they can charge for sponsored posts on Instagram, rising from just over £100 in 2014 to a whopping £1276 this year.

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