Newspaper article International New York Times

YouTube Is Expanding Shopping Links in Videos

Newspaper article International New York Times

YouTube Is Expanding Shopping Links in Videos

Article excerpt

The new service would place product ads on any video on the site, like product reviews uploaded by amateur reviewers, provided the clip's owner opts in.

YouTube has announced that it will introduce shopping ads on its videos that let viewers jump directly to retailers' websites and buy the products featured in the clips.

The video-sharing site, owned by Google, already lets advertisers show links to products within their own videos. But the new service would place product ads on any video on the site, like product reviews uploaded by amateur reviewers, provided the clip's owner opts in.

YouTube's new ads bring a shopping element to yet another corner of the Internet, as highly trafficked websites and social networking services increasingly fashion themselves into shopping hubs.

Sites like Pinterest and Instagram have introduced "buy button" functions that let users purchase the products that appear in the millions of posts and photos shared on their platforms each day. Google itself has pushed to become a shopping destination in an increasingly direct challenge to Amazon, currently the web's de facto shopping search engine.

YouTube's ads seek to tap into the fast growth in product reviews and tutorials posted by users. Susan Wojcicki, the company's chief executive, announced the change on Tuesday at an advertising industry event in New York.

In the last year alone, viewership for product-related clips on YouTube has jumped 40 percent, she said. YouTube users have already uploaded tens of thousands of reviews of a battery-powered self- balancing skateboardlike device that retailers expect to be a hot holiday gift this year.

Once the service is available in the coming months, videos from users who opt into the program, and which contain products that match YouTube ads, will display an icon in the top-right corner.

Users can click on the icon to view a list of images and prices of the products featured in the video, and to jump to retailers' websites for more reviews, information and an option to buy. …

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