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Looking to introduce more shopping features, US content streaming platform YouTube is shutting down SimSim. The latter, a vernacular social commerce app that YouTube acquired in July 2021, will stop taking new orders from March 31, 2023, ET Prime was the first to report.
Founded in 2019 by Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha, Simsim helped small businesses transition to ecommerce through influencer-based videos in Hindi, Tamil, and Bengali. The app allows merchants and influencers to retail fashion, household and consumer products and draws earnings from marketplace services such as transaction fees. According to an Entracker report, Simsim reported a loss of INR 157.25 crore compared to revenues of INR 18.21 crore in FY22.
“As we discontinue the Simsim app, we’ll be working with creators to introduce more monetisation opportunities for creators through an affiliate program and more shopping features across long-form videos, Shorts and livestreams on YouTube in 2023,” a YouTube spokesperson told Moneycontrol on March 23. The video-sharing platform remains committed to building a “seamless” shopping experience for viewers and supporting creators’ businesses, added the spokesperson. Among the new shopping features YouTube introduced last year are live shopping features, such as the ability to tag products to a livestream directly from the Live Control Room, and the possibility for creators and merchants to link their Shopify stores to their YouTube channels.
A month or so ago, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki stepped down after almost a decade of leading the online video platform and was substituted by Indian-American business executive Neal Mohan.