Image: YouTube

Have you ever seen a product shilled on YouTube and thought to yourself, “Wow, I wish I could buy that with a click of the mouse”? Probably not, but Google is trying to make shopping through the world’s most popular video site a reality anyway.

According to a report from Bloomberg, YouTube has begun asking popular creators to tag and track products in their videos. The goal is to create a catalog that would allow the platform’s billions of viewers to make direct purchases while watching content.

“A YouTube spokesperson confirmed the company is testing these features with a limited number of video channels,” Bloomberg wrote. “Creators will have control over the products that are displayed, the spokesperson said. The company described this as an experiment and declined to share more details.”

YouTube hasn’t shared how it’ll generate revenue from video sales, but the potential is obviously there thanks to the platform’s enormous user base.

“YouTube is one of the least utilized assets,” said Andy Ellwood, co-founder and president of smart grocery shopping app Basket. “If they decided they want to invest in it, it’s a huge opportunity for them.”

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19 Comments

  1. When you think of it on the surface it’s not entirely stupid. Especially for tech channels. You see a review of a GPU and then you can immediately purchase it and youtube gets a cut. They could even call it youtube scalper shop.
  2. When you think of it on the surface it’s not entirely stupid. Especially for tech channels. You see a review of a GPU and then you can immediately purchase it and youtube gets a cut. They could even call it youtube scalper shop.

    When put like that, it could actually really work. They just have to find a way of making it work in a way that isn’t annoying.

  3. Of course they do.

    View attachment 517

    Youtube is dead to me.

    I thought it was cool when it was just a basic clip sharing service. You know, upload video and embed snippet in forum post to illustrate something you are talking about.

    The second Google decided they were going to start sharing ad revenues with users was when it all went to ****. Now everyone has a "show" and wants to be a celebrity on Youtube.

    I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

  4. Of course they do.

    Youtube is dead to me.

    I thought it was cool when it was just a basic clip sharing service. You know, upload video and embed snippet in forum post to illustrate something you are talking about.

    The second Google decided they were going to start sharing ad revenues with users was when it all went to ****. Now everyone has a "show" and wants to be a celebrity on Youtube.

    I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

    Why does it bother you so much that people can make money on youtube by creating videos that lots of people are interested in? I don’t like every individual youtuber either, but the concept of creating content people are interested in is not a bad one.

    Where I start to have issues with youtube is when they start meddling with recommendations, suppressing one type of content while promoting others, instead of letting the algorithms work unbiased. And their deliberately vague tos, that can be applied arbitrarily to remove any content they find undesirable.

  5. Why does it bother you so much that people can make money on youtube by creating videos that lots of people are interested in? I don’t like every individual youtuber either, but the concept of creating content people are interested in is not a bad one.

    Where I start to have issues with youtube is when they start meddling with recommendations, suppressing one type of content while promoting others, instead of letting the algorithms work unbiased. And their deliberately vague tos, that can be applied arbitrarily to remove any content they find undesirable.

    Part of the problem is that when anyone can make content, anyone will.

    As a result we have a ton of wannabe tech journalists on YouTube who don’t know **** about **** spreading absolute bullshit garbage and making people LESS informed while making it very hard for sites like this to compete.

    You have people who have no idea what they are doing making videos telling people how to DIY botox themselves, resulting in serious injuries. There are also so called "bio-hackers" who claim to know what they are doing spreading junk online causing others to injure themselves.

    You have people spreading rampant conspiracy theories about all sorts of things as well.

    I tend to believe that the barrier to entry to producing content in the past was a GOOD thing, as it kept the ignorant riff-raff who didn’t know what they were doing off the airwaves. Now that anyone with an engorged ego can produce a "show", we are living in the era of misinformation, junk science and conspiracy theories. Some of it is just harmless and annoying, some of it quite dangerous.

    Truth, Facts and Expertise matter, and sadly it is mostly absent from the likes of Youtube.

  6. When you think of it on the surface it’s not entirely stupid. Especially for tech channels. You see a review of a GPU and then you can immediately purchase it and youtube gets a cut. They could even call it youtube scalper shop.

    Well unless it was a 3000 series GPU. I mean… nobody is buying those. ;)

  7. Part of the problem is that when anyone can make content, anyone will.

    As a result we have a ton of wannabe tech journalists on YouTube who don’t know **** about **** spreading absolute bullshit garbage and making people LESS informed while making it very hard for sites like this to compete.

    You have people who have no idea what they are doing making videos telling people how to DIY botox themselves, resulting in serious injuries. There are also so called "bio-hackers" who claim to know what they are doing spreading junk online causing others to injure themselves.

    You have people spreading rampant conspiracy theories about all sorts of things as well.

    I tend to believe that the barrier to entry to producing content in the past was a GOOD thing, as it kept the ignorant riff-raff who didn’t know what they were doing off the airwaves. Now that anyone with an engorged ego can produce a "show", we are living in the era of misinformation, junk science and conspiracy theories. Some of it is just harmless and annoying, some of it quite dangerous.

    Truth, Facts and Expertise matter, and sadly it is mostly absent from the likes of Youtube.

    You know youtubers that make **** content when every video they have is 10 minutes and 2 seconds long. You know… the cutoff to be monetized by Youtube. Where they spend 9 minutes telling you about what they are going to tell you and how awesome it is before actually telling you and it’s bullshit information.

  8. Part of the problem is that when anyone can make content, anyone will.

    As a result we have a ton of wannabe tech journalists on YouTube who don’t know **** about **** spreading absolute bullshit garbage and making people LESS informed while making it very hard for sites like this to compete.

    You have people who have no idea what they are doing making videos telling people how to DIY botox themselves, resulting in serious injuries. There are also so called "bio-hackers" who claim to know what they are doing spreading junk online causing others to injure themselves.

    You have people spreading rampant conspiracy theories about all sorts of things as well.

    Not being able to make money wouldn’t be a barrier to entry. You don’t get paid immediately for your efforts, it takes years for a channel to become self sustaining. And with backing services like patreon youtube not sharing ad revenue wouldn’t change anything.

    There are and always will be stupid people. You can’t change that. And you can’t curate the content either because more often than not the curators are stupid themselves.

    I tend to believe that the barrier to entry to producing content in the past was a GOOD thing, as it kept the ignorant riff-raff who didn’t know what they were doing off the airwaves. Now that anyone with an engorged ego can produce a "show", we are living in the era of misinformation, junk science and conspiracy theories. Some of it is just harmless and annoying, some of it quite dangerous.

    Truth, Facts and Expertise matter, and sadly it is mostly absent from the likes of Youtube.

    You’d have a point if truth, facts and expertise were present in the mainstream media, but it’s absent there as well. At least on youtube besides the absolute stupidest you can find those who actually know their stuff as well. Too bad most people are too stupid to sort them out. There is no ultimate good solution. Without youtube the internet would be a less interesting and entertaining place altogether.

    Actually harmful stuff should be removed though.

  9. You know youtubers that make **** content when every video they have is 10 minutes and 2 seconds long. You know… the cutoff to be monetized by Youtube. Where they spend 9 minutes telling you about what they are going to tell you and how awesome it is before actually telling you and it’s bullshit information.

    I especially ‘like’ the ones who are constantly complaining about how youtube is evil and should be stopped while making exactly 10 minute videos on everything. I’m not a fan of videos for information anyway. What they tell in a 10 minute video can be learned from a two paragraph news article that you can scan read in 10 seconds, and read in one minute if it is actually of interest.

  10. Where they spend 9 minutes telling you about what they are going to tell you and how awesome it is before actually telling you

    Kind of reminds me a some streaming TV shows and then about a half dozen of the pseudo-documentary type shows my wife watches on cable. Except for them, it’s about 10 minutes of useful content spread over 2+ hours of show.

  11. You know youtubers that make **** content when every video they have is 10 minutes and 2 seconds long. You know… the cutoff to be monetized by Youtube. Where they spend 9 minutes telling you about what they are going to tell you and how awesome it is before actually telling you and it’s bullshit information.

    I didn’t know that was the cutoff for monetization.

    That makes a lot of sense. Now i understand why so many of these blathering fools won’t get to the goddamn point in their videos. It’s like 95% filler most of the time.

  12. I didn’t know that was the cutoff for monetization.

    That makes a lot of sense. Now i understand why so many of these blathering fools won’t get to the goddamn point in their videos. It’s like 95% filler most of the time.

    It’s not exactly a cutoff. You can monetize shorter or longer videos. But 10 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for maximum engagement with the algorithm. Nowadays I try to avoid channels where videos are mostly between 10-15 minutes. It’s a sure sign that they are not in it to do a good service but to maximize their profits.

  13. It’s not exactly a cutoff. You can monetize shorter or longer videos. But 10 minutes seems to be the sweet spot for maximum engagement with the algorithm. Nowadays I try to avoid channels where videos are mostly between 10-15 minutes. It’s a sure sign that they are not in it to do a good service but to maximize their profits.

    Sounds like someone should write a book called "All the things you wanted to know about YouTube . . . .but we’re afraid to ask" :)

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