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Retail therapy just became easier than ever on TikTok Shop

tiktok image search feature for tiktok shop
tiktok image search feature for tiktok shop
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TikTok introduced a new image search tool to its e-commerce segment. The feature was rolled out to users in the US and Southeast Asia. It allows shoppers to find products by simply taking or uploading a photo of the item. 

Why does this matter? As TikTok’s popularity as a search engine grows, the addition of visual search could further solidify its position as a go-to app for product discovery and searches. 

The new feature was first spotted by X user Jonah Manzano. 

Instead of using the search bar to type out a query, users can take a photo with their device’s camera or choose one from the gallery. The on-screen walk-through informs users to “make sure it’s [the item you’re searching for] centered in the frame against a plain background.”

A camera icon is included in the regular search bar to make this process as quick and painless as possible. 

But since no official statement has been released by TikTok Shop, other details of the rollout remain scarce. 

ALSO READ: TikTok Shop thrives, ad slots increased despite US ban

TikTok as a search engine

There is currently a lively debate around the merits of TikTok as a search engine. As per Google’s own data, approximately 40% of Gen Z prefers TikTok over Google for searches. 

In addition, an Adobe report confirms that two in five Americans are using it for online searches, while more than half of business owners surveyed use it to promote their products and services. 

TikTokers generally turn to the social media platform for searches related to recipes (36%), music (35%), and DIY tips (34%). It’s also the go-to app for those looking for fashion tips, workout routines and beauty advice. 

Why the appeal? Adobe explains: “TikTok draws users in because it features short and informative videos, a distinct storytelling format, and personalized content tailored to the viewer.”

More and more Americans are also turning to TikTok as a news source. TikTokers aged 18 to 29 years are the biggest news hunters. 

READ MORE HERE: TikTok’s news boom: Rise of short-form video in US

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About the author

Cheryl has contributed to various international publications, with a fervor for data and technology. She explores the intersection of emerging tech trends with logistics, focusing on how digital innovations are reshaping industries on a global scale. When she's not dissecting the latest developments in AI-driven innovation and digital solutions, Cheryl can be found gaming, kickboxing, or navigating the novel niches of consumer gadgetry.

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