Google is trying to take on e-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba with its new experiment that aims to make YouTube a shopping destination online. A YouTube representative confirmed the new test to Bloomberg.
Citing sources privy to Google's plans, the news website reported today that some content creators on the platform have been recently asked to tag products that appeared on their videos. Google will then link these pieces of information to its analytics and shopping tools in order to develop an e-commerce catalog where users can select and directly buy products.
Creators will have total discretion over what products appear on their clips. Google is also making it easier to directly sell through YouTube by integrating that platform with e-commerce website Shopify. It's not clear, though, how YouTube will make money from the products sold on the service. Bloomberg noted that YouTube is offering subscriptions for creators and taking a 30% tax from their subscription fees.
The new experiment could give a boost to Google's online shopping business. In May of last year, the search giant was testing showing product recommendations along with their prices under YouTube videos. The links would then bring users to a Google Express page for checkout. That said, there's no word on when Google will widely roll out the new shopping feature in YouTube.