Starting from October 1, 2022, Facebook, the social media powerhouse, will end retailers being able to host live or scheduled shopping events on the platform. Meta announced that it took this decision based on the rising popularity of short-form videos and would be shifting its focus on developing reels on its platform. This would be available both on Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook launched the live shopping feature back in August 2020 with the hopes of easing online shopping for consumers while enabling businesses to use their platform to expand their business reach. This was the online shopping environment that Facebook had created for users to buy and sell products.
Facebook noted that the live feature will still be available to users. The only difference would be that ecommerce retailers would not be allowed to create product catalogs and tag products on the platform anymore. Retailers will not have to find other ways to sell items on Facebook, including display ads or putting together collections. Instagram’s live shopping feature will still be available to users.
Why The Shift?
Facebook realized that their rival Tiktok was gaining popularity through their short-form video formats and had to think on their feet quickly. As a result, the social media giant decided to invest more into their reels products to rival their competition. This reels feature allows its users to share short videos across their network flawlessly.
There was a little pushback when the feature came out, mainly from Instagram users. This backlash did subside once the feature gained popularity over time. According to Integrity Institute, 11 of the 20 top posts on Facebook are short-form videos. This was highlighted during the first quarter of 2021. This allows retailers to use the new feature to tag their products and add a call to action prompt on their posts.
Meta had advised its users to reach and engage their audiences through video reels and to experiment with reel ads on both Facebook and Instagram. Tagging products can also be done on Instagram reels, enabling more profound discovery and consideration. Brands and businesses can also generate revenue through reels and boost their content through the paid advertisement feature on the platform.
All in all, while Facebook is shutting down one avenue for merchants to buy and sell products, they are also experimenting with a new path for business transactions to take place still. Businesses must adapt to the new digital landscape and the rise of short-form videos on social media. So stay up to date and keep switching up your social media strategy while more updates keep coming.