Why YouTube Might Look a Little Different Today

Watch out for your wallet. YouTube’s newest feature encourages you to shop while watching.

You have probably noticed that video ads sometimes play before a YouTube video starts.

Starting today, you also might see that those ads — called TrueView ads — sometimes include product offers from the advertiser with prices, images and a click-to-buy button that takes the viewer directly to the advertiser’s website, the Wall Street Journal reports.

YouTube’s senior product manager, Lane Shackleton, tells the publication AdAge that this new ad format shortens the path to purchase:

One of the things we saw was people going off YouTube and searching on Google.com for that product [seen in an ad on YouTube], and then clicking the product listing. In this case we’re just reducing the friction.

The new feature is an effort to boost YouTube’s ad revenue, according to WSJ. Last month, YouTube’s parent company, Google Inc., reported that YouTube had contributed to an overall decline in Google’s ad prices.

Advertisers pay less for TrueView ads than for Google search ads, although people click on TrueView ads more, WSJ reports:

But if more YouTube viewers click on ads and buy products, advertisers might pay more for the ads, boosting YouTube’s revenue.

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Stacy Johnson

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