YouTube is testing shopping and affiliate features in Shorts

YouTube is testing a shopping feature on Shorts with eligible creators in the United States who are currently piloting the ability to tag products from their own stores.

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YouTube is testing shopping features and an affiliate program for Shorts, its short-form video product. New shopping features will allow users to purchase products as they scroll through Shorts. The new affiliate program will allow creators to earn commissions when a product they recommended in their Shorts or regular video was purchased.

While the affiliate program is only being tested in the United States right now, the shopping feature will be available to viewers in the United States, India, Brazil, Canada and Australia.

More revenue for creators. YouTube recently announced a partnership with TikTok and Twitch that would also allow creators to take home a share of ad revenues starting in 2023.

Creators will be able to apply to the company’s Partner Program if they meet a new Shorts-specific threshold of 1,000 subscribers and 10 million Shorts views over 90 days, after which they will earn 45% of ad revenue from their videos.

YouTube growth. Surprisingly, YouTube showed slow growth for Q3 2022. YouTube earnings were down about 2% to $7.07 billion from $7.21 billion. To put that into perspective, analysts were expecting an increase of at least 3%. This is the first quarter that YouTube earnings were down since Google began reporting on them.

More YouTube news. Slow growth isn’t stopping YouTube from innovating and creating new products and features this year including expanded translation tools, video trim, and audio. Check them out.

Why we care. If you’re an ecommerce advertiser, brand, or creator, then these new features are a great addition and an excellent way to earn revenue if your channel is large enough. If you’re B2B or lead gen, sorry, you’re out of luck.

“Over the past few years, YouTube has been working to transform its platform into more of a shopping destination with product launches like shoppable ads and the ability to shop directly from livestreams hosted by creators. Given these moves, it makes sense for YouTube to bring shopping to Shorts too.” TechCrunch.

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About the author

Nicole Farley
Nicole Farley is the founder of Web Sprout, an inbound marketing agency. She formerly was PPC Editor for Search Engine Land (from 2022-2023), covering paid search, paid social, Google Analytics and more. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.

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