Video-sharing app Douyin (known as TikTok outside China) is trialing a new function that allows users to perform in-video search.
I write about the rise of 'Social Commerce' quite a lot, in fact the majority of innovation in this space isn't coming from Facebook or Instagram it's coming out of China and for those with a commercially savvy brain I strongly recommend you keep an eye on this space, but simply watching and not doing is another matter.
Do you remember when using a mobile phone was just for making calls or sending that quick text message, well making calls is now hovering around number 10 on the things you use it for.
Platforms like 'TikTok' might look like light years away from where you and you're customers are sat at the moment, but this isn't just a Gen Z geeky thing.
This is the near future direction of travel for enabling a powerhouse of commercial opportunities allowing you to remain front of mind in a world where your website is quickly becoming the last place your consumer will go.
Some 6 years ago I had enough with those 'digital intrusions' that seem to be pissing everyone else off as well as me, so I've been refining and personally funding a secret project for the past few years.
The project is based around putting you and me in charge of 'content discovery', encouraging brands to produce 'engaging content' not intrusive adverts, it leverages something called 'ACR' and other user orientated innovations - I hope to have this project live early 2020 so please stay tuned.
Video search on it's own isn't something new, the basis of this has been around for years, it's utilised by your set-top box, or Smart TV leveraging something called 'ACR' which stands for 'automated content recognition'.
This is the technology that companies use to learn about your viewing habits in order they can serve you more of those digital intrusions they call 'adverts', and now platforms like TikTok (others are available) are placing the consumer in the driving seat by providing them with the ability to 'pull' the information they want, and act with 'intent' and all on their terms - not YOURS!.
Without a doubt consumers have a voracious appetite when it comes to consuming all kinds of content, so it's a logical step forwards for the concept of ACR to enter into the 'social commerce' space.
Today brands need to become media companies in their own right if they are to cut through the huge swathes of content being created every single minute of the day.
The rise in engaging content is being driven by users on social platforms like 'TikTok' and of course YouTube and Instagram, but simply re-purposing your corporate message that was originally designed for another medium won't cut it when audiences are looking for original, engaging and authentic content.
So instead of thinking 'advert's what's your plan?
The new function has two main applications. First, and more obviously attractive for brands, Douyin users can utilize in-video search to highlight an object within a video and perform a search for that item. The app will throw up links that users can follow to online stores where they can purchase the item.