All social shopping is live, but at risk of being philosophical is all live shopping social?

This past Sunday, Brendan Gahan and I got on Clubhouse at 4pm EST (link) to discuss social video, social shopping, live eCommerce and much more. We plan to make it into a weekly affair. Unsurprisingly, we discussed much much more including culture, conscious capitalism, corporate hypocrisy and the role of marketing and entrepreneurship to address inequality. Yeah, 2 hours went by fast. Join us every Sunday at 4pm, here’s a link to next session.

Half of the 2-hour chat touched on strategy, culture, and socio-economic matters in the context of Super Bowl Sunday and marketing (and entrepreneurship) Here are some of the facts and figures re the main theme we covered.

With Snap reporting FY2020 revenues of $2.5 billion, up 46% YoY, with $911 million in Q4 alone, a 62% YoY uptick, I wanted to get a better sense of Snap’s upside, having started a position way back in April/May 2019, with the stock trading at $11/share. It’s now at $60+ and commands close to a $100 billion in market capitalization. Here are the Q4 and 2020 results:

Some operational highlights:

  • Snap Spotlight has 100 million monthly users.
  • Creators uploading an average of 175,000 videos per day
  • 265 million daily users overall

Considering the king of the hill YouTube clocked in $6.9 Billion (up 46%) in Q4, this begs the question how big non-Youtube players can get in social video, and whether the upside will come from Advertising or eCommerce?

Here’s a nifty breakdown of eCommerce/shopping opportunities on these platforms:

Social commerce is expected to increase by nearly 35% to $36.09 billion this year. Of note:

  • $36.09 billion only represents 4.3% of all eCommerce sales (which is why everyone remains so bullish on Amazon).
  • Number of buyers will grow 12.9% to 90.4 million this year
  • 2023 sales are expected to be $50 billion annually (2x 2020) 

We covered a lot but didn’t even get into this amazing statistic on revenues split between the Feed vs Watch:

One thing we didn’t get around to was whether for Facebook Inc. (the whole company), if eventually video revenues will be bigger on Facebook or Instagram via IGTV (as Insta expands its vertical video feed).

TikTok remains a wildcard as it expands monetization in eCommerce.

So much of the “bet” on social/live shopping in North America is an expectation that we can adopt and import consumer behavior in the Eastern countries. Is that a wise bet?

In China, Douyin and Kuaishou accounted for 25%+ of all mobile app consumption! Kuaishou’s is slated to start trading on the Hong Kong stock exchange on Feb. 5.

  • Their IPO pricing values the company at $60.9 billion. 
  • The app has 776 million monthly active users.
  • The average daily active user on Kuaishou spends 85+ minutes app per day.


  • Blocks weibo/wechat
  • Profiles have merchant windows/stores 
  • Star Map (Influencer Platform ie creator marketplace)
  • Video series/playlists
  • Ability to pin videos
  • Trending (searches, topics, celebs, music, brands (by category), products
  • Crazy advanced AR/filters
  • Can tag locations
  • Can pay to promote content in app

E-commerce advertising to grew 30X faster than wider online ad market

Live Streaming Viewership Doubled YOY in 2020

  • 11% increase e-commerce (as a share of total U.S retail sales).
  • Brands spent $58.5 billion advertising across e-commerce platforms, omnichannel retailers and social commerce
  • 18.3% YOY growth in eCommerce investments
  • Stark when contrasted with 8.1% decline in total ad investment.
  • Twitch usage and users doubled
  • YouTube Gaming doubled
  • FB Gaming nearly tripled hours watched

Make sure to tune in this upcoming Sunday at 4pm EST. Meanwhile, flash back to April 2019 when I discussed my bullishness on Snap: