The four-year-long run of Facebook’s Live Shopping feature is coming to an end as the company is doubling down its focus on Reels. In a blog post, the company announced that the feature will be shutting down from October 1, following which users and sellers will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled live shopping events on Facebook.
“As consumers’ viewing behaviors are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” Facebook explained in the blog post.
This means that creators and brands will be unable to create product playlists or tag products in Facebook Live videos. However, Facebook said that they can continue to use Facebook Live in order to broadcast live events.
Not all is grim news however, and the feature will still be available on Instagram for brands and creators with Commerce Manager. There, they can set up a shop with checkout to let customers to buy items directly from a shop on Instagram. They can also use Reels and Reels Ads to attract customers on Facebook and Instagram, and even tag products in Reels on Instagram.
Launched in 2018 for the first time in Thailand, the live shopping feature let sellers – brands and creators – to host live shopping sessions and create product playlists and tag their products in Facebook Live videos for other users to buy. The popularity of the feature meant that it gradually rolled out to more users across the globe in 2020 alongside a dedicated shopping tab.
While this is an abrupt end for Facebook’s live shopping feature, the development does not come as a surprise. Facebook-parent Meta has emphasized its focus on Reels over the months as it is intensifying its competition against China’s TikTok, and for good reason.
A recent report suggested that TikTok may successfully dethrone Facebook as the leading social media platform, especially when it comes to influencer marketing expenditure. This has seen Meta double down on Reels and the short-video segment in order to attract and retain creators on its social media platforms.
This investment has yielded rich returns for Meta – recently, the company surpassed the $1 billion milestone annual revenue run rate for ads on Reels.