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YouTube is leaning more heavily into ecommerce with a new tool called Shopping ads. The feature will allow consumers to shop products referenced in a video.

Lately, Google has been very keen on ecommerce. In the past several months it started fiddling with buyable ads on YouTube and announced a new buy button to help consumers directly purchase search results.

Already, YouTube has made in-stream ads shoppable with its TrueView technology. Within an ad, TrueView will surface product cards along the side of the screen as a video ad plays. Consumers can then click the product cards to explore the item further or make a purchase.

Shopping ads work very similarly, but instead of ads, the tool makes creator videos shoppable. For example, video product reviews could also host shoppable cards.


The new advertising option is much more “native” in principle and opens up an additional way for content creators to earn money on YouTube. Like with its other ads, Google will take a percentage of the advertising dollars earned by creators.

Advertisers can bid on Shopping ads as they would on Google Search ads. YouTube will select advertisements for creator videos based on whether the ads are contextually relevant and appropriate to viewers.

Google said it will begin testing these ads on viewers in videos this fall, and advertisers can expect to see Shopping ads pop up in Adwords in the coming months.

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