2021: Week 20 | Shop Around the Clock on TiKTok

2021: Week 20 | Shop Around the Clock on TiKTok cover image
On today’s show, TiKTok wants in on in-app shopping in a big way, Elon is giving the SEC heart palpitations, and government’s are still trying to regulate social media.

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TikTok e-comm

TikTok tests in-app shopping

In a bid to become a global e-commerce service, the platform has begun working with merchants in various countries to offer ways for selling products without leaving TikTok. A new “Shopping” tab on the profile of a handful of brands allows users to shop items, add to cart and then check out without leaving the app. However, integration is still a little choppy and lacks features Instagram Shops offer, like native, universal carts or integrated payment mechanisms.

Will it change anything?

Oh yeah! For now, the prototype is only visible to select participants and the official launch date is unknown, but TikTok aims to handle more than $185 billion worth of e-commerce annually by 2022. Considering a recent study by eMarketer that shows more Gen Z users use TikTok than Instagram in the U.S., there is a whole generation of shoppers to be sold to on the latest and greatest social media platform.

When governments defend the public

The UK, Germany and the US each take a stand on the state of the Internet 

The UK published a draft of an Online Safety Bill, which aims especially to protect children on the web. The draft legislation demands digital service providers better moderate and take responsibility so that users do not encounter illegal and/or harmful stuff online. Certain aspects of the bill remain unclear, for instance, citizen journalists’ content will have the same protections as professional journalists’ content but there is no clear definition for who qualifies as a citizen journalist. Eastward, Germany has put a stop on WhatsApp’s new rules and regulations, which would allow it to share user data with Facebook and Instagram. And in the US, State Attorney Generals in several states have signed a call for Facebook to abandon its plans for an Instagram for kids under 13—“It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one(...).”

Will it change anything?

Like a lot of the new regulations we’ve seen coming into effect or being tabled over the past few months, change may not be evident right away. However, these are important steps in bringing structure to a still wild environment. For now, it’s all about setting a precedent and building a foundation.

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