TikTok tests in-app shopping in the US ahead of the holiday season

TikTok on OnePlus 9 with kids tech
(Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok is preparing to launch its e-commerce platform in the United States.
  • Dubbed TikTok Shop, it is currently being tested in the country after launching in the U.K. and several Asian regions.
  • Businesses will be able to sell their products directly through the app.

Short-form video hosting service TikTok is gearing up to take on Amazon and other retail entities as it prepares to launch its e-commerce feature in the United States.

According to Semafor (via The Verge), TikTok has silently ventured into the e-commerce space in the U.S. this past week with its TikTok Shop feature. It sits within the app and allows users to buy products in-app from participating businesses.

While the social media platform has reportedly started testing in the U.S, it was previously limited to several Asian regions and the U.K.

"We've seen the positive impact of TikTok Shop, and we're excited to continue experimenting with this new commerce opportunity to support businesses of all sizes," a TikTok spokesperson told Semafor.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Semafor's report indicates that ByteDance, TikTok's parent company, has already been in talks with businesses in the U.S. to participate in the new TikTok Shop initiative. International businesses apparently aren't included just yet, although they will eventually gain access to TikTok Shop.

Tiktok is among the popular social media apps you can find on Android devices and iOS platforms. Android Central's Shruti Shekar has explained how she and many other users rely on the app to discover new trends, places, and even products, making it an ideal move to fold e-commerce features into the mix. The timing for TikTok Shop also comes right before the holiday season, allowing it to take on Amazon and other e-commerce companies as they try to reel consumers into their Black Friday deals.

An e-commerce facility on a social media app isn't new. We've seen some of the best social media apps incorporate this functionality; Facebook Market is one such example. Likewise, WhatsApp and Instagram also have their marketplaces.

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.