YouTube could soon be converted into a shopping platform allowing users to purchase items featured in videos directly from creators and retailers.
Google has begun testing new technology which would allow content creators to tag items within their videos, then sell them directly to customers via integrated tools from Google Shopping.
According to reports from Bloomberg, Google will also offer sellers its range of analytics tools and is working to integrate Shopify into YouTube.
While Google confirmed to the publication that this was currently only being tested, it has the potential to transform the world’s largest video sharing platform into a vast interactive marketplace.
This would enable Google to dramatically ramp up its advertising revenues and seriously challenge big retail hitters like Amazon and Alibaba, which it has struggled to contend with in terms of ecommerce until now.
Its not yet clear what cut Google will take of sales made through YouTube, or how the sales platform will be structured.
“YouTube is one of the least utilized assets,” president of e-commerce startup Basket Andy Ellwood told Bloomberg.
“If they decided they want to invest in it, it’s a huge opportunity for them.”