YouTube has just announced a new feature it’s testing with some users. A “small experiment” will show shopping links to products mentioned in a YouTube video.
Starting this week for a limited number of users, the “Products in this Video” feature will analyze the video for mentions of specific products. When it detects those products, new visual elements will be overlayed on the video or shown underneath the video to offer viewers easy shopping links to those products.
YouTube’s example looks at a video titled “Top 10 smartphones in 2020.” In that case, this new feature would see YouTube list out the different phone models included in the video.
To help viewers discover products, we’re running a small experiment that will show to some viewers which products are mentioned in the video with new visual elements (overlayed on the video and below the video). For example, in a ‘top 10 smartphones in 2020’ video, some viewers will see an icon on the video, along with more information below, listing the phone models included in the video.
There are plenty of questions regarding how this new feature works. We don’t know what platforms it will appear on — computers and mobile phones seem obvious, though — or if creators will have any control over the feature. For many creators, affiliate links for products in the video are a huge source of income, so YouTube powering its own “Products in this Video” feature would obviously be a huge hit to that revenue stream.
More on YouTube:
- YouTube brings fact check panels that counter misinformation to the US
- Android TV gets coronavirus news, other homescreen channels from YouTube
- YouTube debuts new slate of ‘#WithMe’ originals during coronavirus pandemic
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