TikTok reportedly takes aim at Google with new Image Search feature in TikTok Shop

    TikTok, ByteDance-owned social media giant, is testing a new feature in its TikTok Shop that allows users to search for similar products by simply uploading a photo, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday. This move signals the Chinese company’s ambition to challenge Google’s dominance in search, particularly visual search, and take on e-commerce giant Amazon.

    Shop by Sight: How the Feature Works

    The feature, first discovered by user Jonah Manzano, allows users in the United States and Southeast Asia to utilize photos to discover similar products within TikTok Shop.

    Imagine seeing a stylish plate at a restaurant or spotting a dream outfit online that is out of your budget. With TikTok Shop’s image search, you can simply snap a picture or upload the image to find more budget-friendly alternatives for purchase within the app. This eliminates the need for text descriptions, making shopping more intuitive and efficient.

    Market Strategy: Beyond Google and Amazon

    While Google Lens and Amazon’s image search have been around for a while, TikTok’s entry into the space heats up competition. The company is also targeting other players like Klarna and Cherry offering similar shopping tools. Despite facing a potential ban in the US, the Chinese company, led by Shou Zi Chew, is forging ahead with its e-commerce push, aiming to solidify its presence in its most lucrative market.

    TikTok Shop’s Global Success and Safety Measures

    Since its launch in the US, TikTok Shop has experienced significant growth, particularly in the beauty segment. The platform reportedly boasts over 15 million sellers worldwide, with a strong presence in the US. With user safety a priority, the company is reportedly investing over $400 million and building a team exceeding 7,500 people to maintain a secure shopping environment.

    Looking Ahead: A New Era of Shopping?

    The company’s latest image search feature marks a shift towards a more visual shopping experience. With its massive user base and focus on entertainment, TikTok Shop is well-positioned to become a major player in the e-commerce landscape. Whether it can dethrone Google and Amazon remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: the future of shopping is getting a whole lot more visual.


    author avatar
    Monika Asthana




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