Facebook is stopping live shoppingits QVC-like live streaming feature that allows creators to broadcast and sell products to an audience (through TechCrunch). The feature will officially shut down on October 1, and Facebook says it’s part of the company’s initiative to shift focus to Reels.
“As consumer viewing behavior shifts toward short-form video, we’re shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” Facebook explains. Although live shopping is being dropped on Facebook, it will still be available on Instagram.
First launched in 2018 in Thailand, Live Shopping opens up another revenue stream for Facebook creators. It allows influencers to host their own live shopping sessions where they can showcase and sell different products, whether from their own store or through a partner. Facebook rolled out the feature more broadly in 2020, around the same time it introduced a dedicated shopping section. While live shopping remains extremely popular in China, it just doesn’t seem to have taken off in other parts of the world. Even TikTok announced it was withdrawing live shopping in the US and Europe last month.
But the suspension of Live Shopping also demonstrates Facebook’s growing commitment to its short-form video feature, Reels, which it officially launched on the platform last year. Facebook is even considering making its algorithm more like TikTok, something its parent company, Meta, has already done with Instagram (much to Kardashian’s chagrin). Like Facebook, Instagram is pushing hard for short content, with all videos on the platform now being converted to Reels.
The emphasis on Reels has raised concerns among longtime Instagram users who have come to know the app as a way to share photos with friends. Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri was met with outrage after telling users the platform would become video-centric, prompting Instagram to back off some of its changes.