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Is this image a pair of shoes or a sponge? TikTok isn’t sure

Photo by Jean Chung / Getty Images

TikTok isn’t just a place to offload your celebrity opinions, give strangers a complete home tour, or share a DIY hack. Each video — at least in TikTok’s view — is also a possible advertisement.

As I was scrolling through my feed this week, a video from an account I don’t follow popped up discussing actor Hunter Schafer’s Grammys afterparty outfit. The account has a modest 43,000 followers, and the video has less than 8,000 views. It followed the typical outfit breakdown format: identifying the designer of Schafer’s dress, showing a few different angles, and adding close-up shots of her shoes.

As the video was ending, a button popped up prompting me to view items in TikTok Shop related to the shoes. The blue and orange embellished heels…

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