Is live shopping already dead? Facebook axes feature to focus on Reels

The format remains wildly popular in China, but has failed to take off elsewhere, with TikTok also pulling back efforts in Europe and the US.

Facebook is shutting down its live shopping feature that lets creators broadcast and sell products, as part of the company’s shift of focus to Reels.

The feature will officially shut down on October 1st on Facebook, but the will still be available on Instagram.

In a blog post, Facebook said: “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.” 

First launched in 2018 in Thailand, live shopping opens up another revenue stream for creators on Facebook. 

The platform lets influencers host their own live shopping sessions where they can show off and sell a variety of products, whether from their own store or through an affiliate. 

Facebook then launched the feature on a wider scale in 2020, complemented by a dedicated shopping tab. 

It was reported last month that TikTok is pulling back on live shopping in the US and Europe.

Reverting to Reels as short-form video dominates Facebook posts

The move forms part of Meta's increased focus on short videos to compete with TikTok and the growing trend for bite-sized content.

According to the Integrity Institute, short-form videos accounted for 11 of the top 20 posts on Facebook in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“If you want to reach and engage people through video, try experimenting with Reels and Reels ads on Facebook and Instagram,” Meta suggested in the blog post. “You can also tag products in Reels on Instagram to enable deeper discovery and consideration.”

Meta has also increased the potential for Reels to generate revenue for the company by allowing merchants and creators to boost their content via paid ads.

Read the blog post here