TikTok Shopping and the Rise of 'Social Commerce'

Give any social media platform long enough, and it turns into a mall.

In three short years, TikTok has grown in the public imagination from an app for dancing teens into an all-purpose cultural powerhouse, driving trends in music, food, news and politics, and changing the way people communicate online. In the process, it’s also become something else: a place where people buy things. Lots of them.

Social media companies have been chasing the dream of “social commerce” for years, ramping up advertising and nudging their users toward buying and selling in hopes of getting a piece of the internet’s other most profitable business.

It’s almost quaint to think about the early

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