HomeBlogsAffiliate Marketing Industry[July 2024] TikTok test web links in video & what this means for affiliate marketing?

[July 2024] TikTok test web links in video & what this means for affiliate marketing?

TikTok is currently testing the inclusion of web links directly within videos. Unlike before, where links were limited to sponsored videos or ads (requiring payment to add links to your video)

This new test expands TikTok’s availability.

What does it mean for the affiliate marketing industry?

This article is sponsored by BixGrow – affiliate marketing apps for Shopify merchants

TikTok as a search engine

Yes. TikTok has been used as a search engine in recent years. And more and more people are doing it.

According to 2024 Adobe Survey, 64% of Gen Z and 49% of U.S Millennials have turned to TikTok for search purposes. TikTok’s appeal is particularly strong among Gen Z, with nearly 10% of this group favoring TikTok over search giants like Google. The platform achieved that preference mainly because of its engaging nature.


This demographic shift highlights a preference for video content over traditional text-based search results, with many users searching for recipes, music, DIY tips, and fashion advice on the platform.


  • Watching is more intuitive. For example, you can literally understand fashion advice simply by 30s watching it. Traditional approaches like blogging make take you some minutes to get the main ideas.
  • Content is personalized to users.

Furthermore, new technologies like ChatGPT are also entering the search arena, with a big portion of users seeking information from AI-driven chatbots. And I will clarify this idea in the following parts.

With its current popularity, TikTok is poised to be a leading factor in shaping the affiliate marketing trends in the next few years.

What is TikTok testing with web links?

TikTok is testing a new feature. Users can now put web links directly in their videos. This is different from the old way of adding product links. It gives more options to content creators and businesses.


For example, @joyn.de, a German streaming service, uses this feature. They add links to their website in many videos. This makes it easy for viewers to find more of their content. This change could make brand interactions on TikTok more natural and diverse.


How it may work out for affiliate marketing?

Businesses are pivoting to TikTok for affiliate marketing

Over half of surveyed business owners use TikTok for promotion, averaging nine posts per month. Affiliate marketing is also popular, with 25% of small business owners work with affiliates and influencers for product sales and promotions.

TikTok becoming a more stable SEO pathway

Further more, many affiliates as well as businesses are confusing with current Google SEO. They have just created core updates and it literally made some drops in traffic – without any clue of a recovery.

TikTok change may help diversifying organic traffic sources. Businesses are looking for new ways to get organic traffic to their websites.

TikTok’s new link feature can help with this. Affiliate TikTokers and adverties at least have clues on how their short video possible to rank, know people search, now we know people can click though to a url.

As AI technology advances, it is likely to dominate awareness content (typically mentioned as the first layer in marketing funnel). TikTok’s new link feature can help fill the gap where businesses might see a drop in traffic due to AI.


It’s an observable reality that most people ask ChatGPT for information in the past 01 year. The information is short & concise with less content distortion than that of Google. Furthermore, ones can also dig deeper into details with Q&A process – what Google cannot do yet.

But for ‘How to” content, they might prefer TikTok. For example:

  • “How to make chicken soup”
  • “Bigger chest”
  • “Wide jeans outfit”

And more. You name them.


Imagine you’re a travel blogger. Right now, you might use Google to help people find your blog. But with TikTok’s new link feature, you can make a fun video about “What to do in Paris” and add a link to your blog. People can watch your video and click the link to read more on your blog. This way, even if AI takes over some of the content, you can still get lots of visitors from TikTok.

Shorten customer journey

This change could transform TikTok into a more effective search engine. Users could search for videos and find direct links to related websites, products, or services, making finding information and shopping even easier and turning TikTok into a more versatile platform.

Most importantly, this change shortens the journey to the landing page, which means more chances for affiliates to get referral sales.

Furthermore, affiliate marketers can combine TikTok shop links with links to websites presented in their organic videos. It’s an exciting opportunity for creators and brands.

Creators can add links to products or services they promote, potentially earning commissions. This could make TikTok a powerful tool for both influencers and brands.

This may also increase conversion rates and ROI.

It put Instagram in pressure

Instagram is TikTok’s closest competitor.

While TikTok’s algorithmic advantage fuels rapid growth and financial rewards, Instagram, as the main social networking platform, offers diverse monetization avenues & sustainable long-term income streams based on personality.

Traditionally, Instagram affiliates use Instagram Stories to promote products, using the Swipe Up feature to direct viewers to landing pages (available for influencers with 10,000 followers). This feature makes it a valuable tool for driving traffic from Instagram.

Conversely, promoting through Instagram Reels offers higher virality potential but requires viewers to take extra steps to reach the landing page. Creators often include clear calls-to-action like “link in bio” or “check out the pinned comment.”

The competitive pressure from TikTok may compel Instagram to make significant changes.

A notable development in organic traffic is TikTok’s testing of external links to off-site sources. Currently, linking to a website is restricted to the bio or paid ads, but soon, we may see organic content featuring clickable links on TikTok.

And, please notice that…

There are 02 conclusions for this post:

1. It may transform how marketers drive traffic

TikTok’s test could transform affiliate marketing and advertising. If rolled out widely, it promises a massive surge in site traffic from TikTok’s viral videos. I mean, A LOT of traffics.

2. Maybe not all web links allowed

Yet, it is not sure whether TikTok will limit links to specific eCommerce platforms, or marketplaces-like (several times it did block links to App Store in the past). In the past 01 year, TikTok has been transforming itself to be a platform combining marketplace and social with various new policies for TikTok sellers/ content creators.

It is worth it to pay attention to these potential restrictions.

I have been working in marketing for four years, passionate about creative writing and copy writing. Love to be alone at watersides, sip coffee, play games or read anything that is thought provoking.


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