TikTok Store is testing the ability to search images in the US and Southeast Asia

TikTok is reportedly testing an image search feature on the TikTok store.

As TechCrunch reported on Tuesday (June 11), users can use photos they take or upload to search for similar items on the TikTok store.

The report states that the image search feature is now available to all users in the United States and Southeast Asia, and can be accessed via the camera icon in the search bar on the TikTok store.

According to the report, this feature allows users to purchase specific products from the TikTok store without having to use text descriptions.

According to the report, the introduction of the feature suggests that TikTok intends to compete with Google, which has long offered a visual search tool called Google Lens, and Amazon, which also offers image search. Other companies offering image search tools while shopping include Klarna and Cherry.

In April, it was reported that TikTok Shop had more than 500,000 e-commerce merchants selling to US users at the end of 2023, more than double the number from a year earlier.

The platform also had over 15 million sellers worldwide at the time, an increase of 6 million.

“While your traditional model might scroll through a list of products on a website, our goal is to create a more fun and engaging experience,” Mary Hubbard, director of management and experience at TikTok Shop Americas, told Bloomberg at the time. “We want people to feel that their shopping experience is tailored to their needs and relevant to them, in the same way that they feel their For You Feed is.”

Although TikTok Shop has been seeing rapid growth, TikTok has reportedly decided to suspend its plans to expand its eCommerce business in major European markets.

Before the break, the company planned to launch the shopping platform in Spain, Germany, Italy, France and Ireland in July. It was also intended to introduce the Store feature to Mexico and Brazil.

Instead, the ByteDance-owned social media platform will focus on expanding its presence in the US, its most lucrative market, where it faces potential divestiture or ban.