YouTube is testing a feature that auto-detects products in videos, lists them for viewers, and then recommends related videos on the platform, the BBC said citing a YouTube blog post. This is in addition to the slew of recommended videos that YouTube already shows to users.
It seems the whole idea is to keep you on YouTube rather than have you continue your shopping research and browsing elsewhere. You might, for example, be pointed to a full-length video review of an auto-detected product.
“The feature will appear in between the recommended videos, to viewers scrolling below the video player. The goal is to help people explore more videos and information about those products on YouTube,” the Google-owned platform said.
YouTube has been anxious to enter the increasingly lucrative e-commerce business. According to Bloomberg, the company was testing integration with Shopify to allow for sales through the platform itself.
Earlier in the year, YouTube began allowing select content creators to “add” (presumably, to tag) products to their videos. Viewers would then be able to see a list of the products when they click on the shopping bag icon on the bottom left of the video.
Subsequently, viewers are free to browse each product’s page to see more information, related videos, and even purchase options. We’re guessing this more ‘manual’ tagging of products will somehow be integrated with the auto-detection feature.
Ultimately, YouTube may be looking at creating a fully end-to-end shopping experience on its platform – from browsing to research to actual purchase. But for now, the features mentioned above are only being tested in the US.