Facebook calls time on Live retail selling system

(Source: Meta )

Retailers will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled Live Shopping events on Facebook from October 1, according to a statement by parent Meta. 

While Facebook users will still be able to broadcast live events on the platform, the ability to create product playlists and tag product features on Facebook Live will be disabled. Meta says retailers will still be able to use Reels on Instagram as a live shopping feature. 

“As consumers’ viewing behaviours are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” the company said in the statement. 

Meta’s move to shift focus on short-form video products has faced criticisms from its users, described as an effort to copy TikTok. 

The Live Shopping feature was launched two years ago after a series of small trials. In 2020, KitKat launched “Live from the Kitkat Chocolatory”, an Australian-first Facebook-live shopping experience. 

“They got 133,000 views on their broadcast, but the shopping experience was less than optimal,” e-commerce strategist Nathan Bush told Inside Retail. “Customers had to Facebook message a hashtag to the Kit Kat account. In return, they were sent product suggestions, which linked them to the website for purchase.”

Since its launch, Live Shopping was proven to be an effective marketing tool for SMEs to reach and engage their customers, especially during the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, TikTok has recently been reported to be dropping plans to roll out TikTok Shop outside Asia after struggling to gain traction with customers, despite encouraging retailers and influencers to sell through the app.

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