Today, many reviewers use YouTube as a platform to share their thoughts about new products in video form. To better accommodate both reviewers and potential buyers, Google is reportedly planning to integrate a full shopping experience into YouTube.

Bloomberg is reporting today that YouTube has begun testing tools for channel creators to tag various products featured in their videos. YouTube will then track these listed products and connect them with analytics and shopping tools.

Further, YouTube is testing an integration with Shopify, which would allow certain items to be sold directly through YouTube. According to a YouTube spokesperson speaking with Bloomberg, channel creators will have full control over which products are displayed with their videos.

With the incredible popularity of unboxing videos and reviews on YouTube, this move makes a great deal of sense. It should be interesting to see what form this shopping experience will take, when and if it launches to viewers. As it is currently still considered an “experiment,” it’s possible that YouTube’s shopping may only launch to Premium subscribers at first.

Bloomberg‘s sources suggest that YouTube will turn its library of product-related videos into a “vast catalog of items” for viewers to browse and even buy directly from YouTube. It’s not yet clear how YouTube will profit from this shopping experience, perhaps taking a percentage commission of each sale.

By that same token, hopefully product reviewers and other content creators will also be able to earn a cut from sales they helped generate. As it stands now, YouTubers typically generate additional income from their product-related videos through affiliate links in the video and description. This more direct integration could potentially simplify the path to generating income through YouTube.

Even without this shopping experience, YouTube was able to report $3.81 billion in advertising revenue alone last quarter, according to Alphabet’s Q2 2020 earnings.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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