Facebook announced it will no longer allow users to host live shopping events beginning October 1, 2022, Meta announced in a blog post.
Citing a shifting preference for short-form videos among consumers as the driving factor, it will instead shift its focus to Reels, Meta’s short-form video product that is available on both Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook launched live shopping in August 2020 with the goal of making online shopping easier and empowering retailers of all types to grow their businesses. It provided an interactive way to sell items and connect with viewers.
The Facebook Live feature will still be available, but ecommerce merchants will not be able to create product playlists or tag products. This means retailers will have to seek out other avenues for selling items on Facebook, which could include purchasing display ads and creating collections.
Live shopping on Instagram will be unaffected.
The Move Highlights Meta’s Increased Focus on Short Videos
In a move to compete with TikTok, Meta has increasingly invested in its Reels product, which allows seamless video sharing across both of the company’s major platforms.
The video feature, which was initially met with animosity by Instagram users, has witnessed increasing popularity. According to the Integrity Institute, a social internet think tank, short-form videos accounted for 11 of the top 20 posts on Facebook in the fourth quarter of 2021.
This has, in turn, presented opportunities for retailers to use videos to tag products, add calls to action and engage with their target audience.
“If you want to reach and engage people through video, try experimenting with Reels and Reels ads on Facebook and Instagram,” Meta suggested in the blog post. “You can also tag products in Reels on Instagram to enable deeper discovery and consideration.”
Meta has also increased the potential for Reels to generate revenue for the company by allowing merchants and creators to boost their content via paid advertisements.
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