YouTube will discover the items shown in the videos, create a list of relevant products to purchase, and suggestions will appear automatically as viewers pass through the platform.
This technology will allow users to identify the products that appear in the video and search for relevant content on the site, according to BBC Arabia.
The feature is currently only being tested on some users in the United States, but experts say it could make a “huge” change in the advertising industry.
“We are testing a new feature that displays a list of products that were discovered in some of the videos, as well as related products,” YouTube said.
“The goal is to help people discover more videos and information about these products on YouTube.”
With the “Top 10 Smartphones in 2020” video, for example, “some viewers will see a symbol on the video, in addition to more information below, with the types of phones included in the video.”
YouTube added, “From there, viewers can explore each product page for more information, related videos, and product purchase options.”
YouTube began testing the product feature in this video in April of last year.
Automated detection will also recommend videos from other content makers on the platform offering the products.
The technical news site said, “The YouTube algorithm is already doing a fairly strong job in automatically detecting the content you were watching and displaying related videos, but this seems more targeted to the type of content people see as a prior search before making a purchase.”
“It could be huge,” said Laura Weldon, founder of brand design studio LWD, “giving Google (the owner of YouTube) a large chunk of the affiliate link market that works well on Instagram and can put it in the shopping space itself.”
“It would also mean that the videos can be easily marketed, which provides tremendous potential for small businesses to upload various videos of their products and then viewers can purchase,” she added.
“If this starts, it will likely signal the end of traditional advertising as we know it.”
“Cosmetic consumers looking for product reviews and advice are using YouTube as a search engine as well as for entertainment,” said Natasha Holm, strategy director of the Sene Group for Cosmetic Communications.
“This new feature could make it easier for cosmetic buyers to find products recommended by beauty product content makers and reduce the potential for products to lose content,” she added.
She noted that the technology can extend beyond reviews to include more creative applications, for example knowing the makeup used in a music video.