Welcome to the apps this week, the weekly TechCrunch series that brings the latest recovery to mobile OS news, mobile apps and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 218 billion downloads and $143 billion global subscribers in 2020. Last year, consumers also spent 3.5 trillion minutes using the app on Android devices alone. In addition, in the United States, the use of apps has increased before spending time watching live TV. Currently, Americans watch 3.7 hours of live TV per day, but now spend four hours per day on their mobile devices.
Apps are not a way to pass idle time – they are a big business business in 2019, the combined value of mobile-first companies was 544 billion, 6.5 times more them without mobile focus. In 2020, investors poured $73 billion into mobile companies – a figure that is up 27% year-over-year. This week, we got a first-hand look at TikTok’s first e-commerce test, which includes a program for vendors involving product anchors in videos and options for authorized sales. We are digging into new iOS and Android beta, FTC complaints against math app Prodigy and more.
TikTok tests a new e-commerce experience in Indonesia: The Financial Times recently reported that TikTok was preparing to launch a new e-commerce experience in 2021, including the ability to share links to creators’ products, authorized sales, support and even livestreamed shopping. Now, we get a first look at a few live tests near e-commerce on the progress of TikTok. The company recently launched a “selling university” website targeting Indonesian audiences, detailing how brands can advertise their products in videos. Here, TikTok explains that there are two ways for brands to advertise by creating their own two videos or working with partners.
“If you want to sell through your personal page, you can showcase products via livestreamed or short videos with product anchors embedded in your content. When customers see your content, their product can be redirected to the relevant product detail page by clicking on the anchor, “the site explains. The seller’s university also details other rules and guidelines, including how to sign up to be a TikTok seller and what types of products banned.
TikTok vendors are required to provide their contact information, including location, phone, email, store and warehouse location, and other documentation required for approval. They can then set up a vendor profile, where they can manage other users associated with their account. Once the app goes live as a seller, their profile will have a “TikTok Shop” in the second tab, which users will see when they visit the page. When their videos showing their products viewed, there are “product anchors” embedded in the content. Clicking on these anchors will redirect visitors to the product details page where they can transact. In addition, brands can collaborate with TikTok influencers to promote their products through the new “TikTok Affiliate” program. TikTok told TechCrunch that the program is a test of Indonesia’s e-commerce solutions and one of the various product tests in the field of e-commerce.