TikTok Reportedly Planning To Ban Links To External Ecom Sites Such As Amazon

Tyumen, Russia - January 21, 2020: TikTok and Facebook application  on screen Apple iPhone XR

TikTok is reportedly queuing up a ban on links to external ecommerce sites in a move that could cause a disaster for content creators.

Currently, it is not clear when TikTok will introduce the new measure but it is part of the short-form video app’s attempt to grow its TikTok Shop feature.

While shopping via short-form video and live stream is popular in TikTok’s native China, it has yet to take hold in the US. It is not currently available in Australia but a global expansion would naturally follow.

Consumers in the U.S. are currently spending around US$3 million to US$4 million (AU$4.63 million and AU$6.17 million) every day on TikTok Shop, up from around half a million to US$1 million (AU$1.54 million) a day in June, according to a report from The Information. TikTok expects this number to swell to US$10 million (AU$15.44 million) by the end of the year.

TikTok Shop is proving more successful in Southeast Asia, where it has been available since 2021. In the region, TikTok Shop ships around $50 million to $60 million (AU$77.18 million and AU$92.62 million) worth of goods every day. TikTok hopes to increase this number to around US$90 million (AU$138 million) by the end of the year.

By banning links to outside retailers, the move could seriously disrupt the earnings of content creators who currently send much of their affiliate traffic to sites like Amazon. TikTok did not reply to Techcrunch’s request for comment on the story.

Yesterday, it was also revealed that TikTok would start to sunset its digital storefront integration with Shopify starting 12 September. In 2021, the businesses expanded a pre-existing agreement to facilitate direct-to-consumer sales for creators on the app.

“Here at TikTok, we are committed to building native, engaging, and entertaining shopping experiences that empower you to meaningfully engage with customers and grow your business,” read the Help Center post announcing the change.

“As the retail industry changes rapidly, we are committed to enhancing and expanding our product offering to meet your evolving needs. That’s why we built TikTok Shop.”




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