Social media platform TikTok taps into social commerce

TikTok, the social media platform famous for its short video snippets, is opening up the network to e-commerce. 

ByteDance, the company that owns TikTok, told TechCrunch it has begun to allow users to add links to e-commerce sites as part of its on-going experimentation to find “new ways to improve the app experience of our users.”

Moreover, TikTok is also allowing people to add URLs in their profile, just like many Instagram users do in order to direct people to their Patreons, online shops or websites.

TechCrunch reported that social commerce is rapidly gaining strength around the world, even getting to a stage where it is starting to challenge traditional e-commerce players like Alibaba.

The news comes as rival social media giant Facebook, which also owns WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, announced it would introduce a new payment service. The new service would allow people more flexibility to shop, donate and transfer money across the company’s different platforms.

That is on top of Facebook’s ongoing battle to get Libra, the cryptocurrency project Facebook is spearheading as part of the Libra Association, off the launchpad. However, as FinTech Global has previously reported, the Menlo Park business has faced a lot of pushback from the public, politicians and pundits as well as regulators ever since the initiative was first announced this summer.

Other tech titans have also made moves into the FinTech space recently. For instance, Google has announced plans to roll out a new checking platform and Uber has unveiled new solutions to help drivers better manage their finances in the past few months.

As FinTech Global has previously reported, tech giants moving into financial services territory could mean both risks and opportunities for incumbents and smaller FinTech companies alike.

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