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From TechCrunch:

"TikTok announced today that it’s launching a new commerce ad suite called 'Shopping Ads' to make it easier for brands to advertise on the platform. The company is currently testing three formats of Shopping Ads, including Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads and LIVE Shopping Ads.

"The new Video Shopping Ads allow advertisers to highlight one or more products in their in-feed video ads in a way that amplifies product discovery and purchase intent. TikTok says video Shopping Ads provide dynamic experiences based on the shopper’s intent to purchase, with smart targeting and optimized ad delivery. Video Shopping Ads essentially put brands’ shoppable videos in front of users who are more likely to buy them. The ads will also automatically create a landing page to better determine a user’s intent to purchase.

"Video Shopping Ads are currently available to select advertisers for beta testing."

The announcement comes as the Wall Street Journal reports that "Amazon is testing a feature in its app that would show users a TikTok-style photo and video feed of products for shoppers to share with other users … The portal being tested under the internal name 'Inspire,' appears as a diamond widget on the home page of Amazon’s app, according to Israeli-based artificial intelligence firm Watchful Technologies Ltd., which has tracked the feature’s use. The widget brings shoppers to a feed that shows a stream of images and videos of products, with shoppers able to like, share and ultimately purchase items. While most of the feed now appears as still pictures, Watchful researchers said the portal also features video content."

The Journal writes that "the test is currently visible to a small number of Amazon employees, according to a person familiar with it."  An Amazon spokeswoman tells the Journal that the company is “constantly testing new features to help make customers’ lives a little easier.”

KC's View:

Amazin isn't alone, of course.  As the Journal notes, it joins other major technology companies such as Meta Platforms Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. that have attempted to bump up engagement through short videos and an endless stream of content."

I must admit that this is where I feel old - I have very little interest in this stuff as a consumer.  Which is why retailers need to make sure that they have young people who do understand these rules of engagement to drive them in important new directions.