Meta Ending Facebook Live Shopping, Asking Merchants Use Reels Instead

Meta is doubling down on its multi-platform shift towards short-form videos in what looks to be a bid to compete with TikTok.

Credit: Meta

The social media giant announced it would be ending Live Shopping events on Facebook starting 1 October. The feature allowed Facebook Business owners to demonstrate the products they’re selling to their followers via live broadcasts. Merchants can still use Facebook Live for future live selling sessions, but they won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in their videos anymore.


Meta is encouraging merchants to tout the products they’re selling on Reels or Reels ads instead. This applies to both Facebook and Instagram.


"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," said the company.

Credit: Meta

Meta recently overhauled the Facebook app’s News Feed, imitating TikTok’s approach of using algorithms to recommend content on the platform. The original home feed was split into two: one which showed content the algorithm thinks the user likes and one which showed content from existing connections. The change was supposed to help position Facebook as "a discovery engine" for users to find content on the platform that they can enjoy.


Instagram was similarly trying to take a page off of TikTok’s book, revamping its app’s interface to accommodate full-screen videos. The change irked a number of the platform’s users and top influencers, including the Kardashian sisters. This seemingly resulted in the platform rolling back the changes, noting how it was just a test.


Meta’s social media platforms haven’t been finding the same success as they have before TikTok came into the picture. Facebook in particular is grappling with an ageing user base, with teenagers said to be leaving the platform in droves. The platform reportedly lost over half a million daily active users during the last three months of 2021.


While Meta surely won’t admit it, these recent changes are perhaps part of its strategy to lure younger internet users back to Instagram and Facebook.

 
  • Meta announced it would be ending Live Shopping events on Facebook starting 1 October, encouraging merchants to instead use Reels moving forward.

  • The feature allowed Facebook Business owners to demonstrate the products they’re selling to their followers via live broadcasts.

  • Merchants can still use Facebook Live for future live selling sessions, but they won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in their videos anymore.

  • The change appears to be part of a broader push towards short-form video content as Facebook and Instagram continue to compete with TikTok for users' attention and time.

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