TikTok Challenges Google’s Search Dominance With New Image Search Capability Linked To Its Shops

Popular social media platform TikTok seems to be targeting Google with its latest feature that’s entered the testing phase.

The platform wishes to go above and beyond the usual social media landscape and venture into a new realm that might make Android maker Google feel threatened.

Think along the lines of serving competition in the world of search with a new image search capability where users can click images to find a similar product at the app’s Shop.

The feature was first spotted by a user on X who says it’s up for grabs to all based in the US and from southeast Asia. the feature arises in the form of a camera that users can make use of to click on anything and everything that they stumble upon.

Image: Jonah Manzano / X

Simply go to your search bar inside the TikTok Shop and search for the camera icon that’s located at the top. For instance, you might be at your favorite coffee shop sipping from a fancy mug that you’d like to purchase for your home.

All you need to do is go to that camera icon and click the picture to find the same or a replica of it from TikTok Shop. Another option would be to go online shopping and search for products you’ve seen elsewhere but simply can’t find anything else of that sort. But if you capture the image, TikTok Shop might get you exactly what you’re looking for in minutes. And who knows, it might be at half or a fraction of the cost.

In case you’re wondering, users have been given the chance to look for certain items on the app’s Shop for a while now. However, the only difference now is that descriptions don’t need to be made in the form of text only but actual pictorial ones. The fact that image search is done while shopping is quite a familiar feature for Google.

The search engine giant rolled that feature out years ago and it’s quite popular amongst the masses too. It’s called Google Lens and if you haven’t used it by now, what are you waiting for?

The popular visual search rollout is also something we see on Amazon that might serve as another leading source of competition for TikTok.

We’ve already seen the app make headwaves in Google searches for years. It’s become to such an extent that Google has publicly voiced its concern about Instagram and TikTok eating up its main offering which is search. Now, with this latest rollout, we can see more people trying to not only use the platform for new rollouts but also wish users to make the right purchase through the Shop.

From what we can see, TikTok is not just aiming to target its arch rivals like Google and Amazon but it also hopes to serve great competition to other firms offering similar features for shopping like Klarna.

We saw the platform reveal how its shop has close to 15 million sellers from all over the globe. This entails close to 500k present in the US alone. Moreover, it’s spent close to $400M on the safety of apps and also given rise to teams of 7500 individuals that keep the app’s shop safe.

The company has also been leading the pack in terms of e-commerce for a while now. It really does see its Shop as a serious means to get more revenue. Meanwhile, the firm’s e-commerce efforts also seem to be the best way to ensure users stick to the app and not wander off to other arch-rivals nearby.

So by making the Shop feature better and equipped with greater facilities, we can see where TikTok is going on the e-commerce front.

The news comes at a time when a possible ban on the popular app is set to take center stage in the US as many lawmakers feel the platform is a huge security threat to the nation and therefore must be separated from its Chinese parent firm ByteDance if it wishes to function in the country.

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