Google's experimental Area 120 division has just released a new product, and this time it isn't just another Pinterest clone. Shoploop, as its name might imply, is a video shopping platform that shows short not-quite reviews for products from creators and brands in short (90 seconds or less) videos. Think of it as an Instagram or TikTok feed of product videos. Right now, it's focusing on stuff like makeup and skincare, but Shoploop plans to expand to more product types in the future, including clothing, jewelry, and electronics.
The Shoploop web app is mobile-only (for now), and it gives you a vertical feed of videos recorded by influencers and other folks demonstrating products, with subtle links that point to where to buy the stuff being shown off. Product categories are separated by tabs at the top of the page, and you can like, share, and save videos. Individual video creators also have a profile page where you can follow them to keep up with the ones you like the most and view their previous videos. In short, it has most of the social features you'd expect.
The videos themselves have a sort of amateur, low-production-quality vibe, seemingly intentionally. Instead of being advertised to with an Instagram-like perfection, the content feels more real and relatable, though we'll see if or how that changes over time.
Google's been stepping up its shopping chops in recent years, but Area 120 experiments usually operate at a remove from the company itself. Still, Shoploop's focus on video shopping as a sort of Tik-Tok-as-QVC fits nicely into the company's most recent efforts, including YouTube integration for Google Shopping.
Interested parties (and brands) can apply to get their own channels, and a desktop version is also in the works. Current contributors include a handful of big names from venues like Allure and some companies like Sabbatical Beauty.
Area 120 may have chosen precisely the wrong moment to launch a product like this, though. The recent downturn in the economy and curbed consumer spending could be a potential speedbump in Shoploop's plans, and it wouldn't be the first Area 120 product to bite the dust due to the pandemic, though some products have been successful.