Facebook is shutting down its direct shopping feature on Oct. 1, TechCrunch reports

Facebook is shutting down its direct purchases feature on October 1 to shift its focus to Reels, the company announced. blog post. After this date, you will no longer be able to host any new or planned direct shopping events on Facebook, the company said. The social media network notes that you’ll still be able to use Facebook Live to broadcast live events, but you won’t be able to create product playlists or mention products in your Facebook Live videos.

Live video purchases became publicly available on Facebook two years ago after a series of smaller trials and beta tests. The feature was designed to give creators and brands an interactive way to sell products, connect with viewers and acquire new customers. However, Facebook says it is now moving away from live video purchases to focus on Reels.

“As consumer viewing behavior shifts to short-form video, we’re shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” the company said in a blog post. “If you’re looking to reach and engage people with video, try out Reels and Reels Ads on Facebook and Instagram. You can also tag products in Reels on Instagram for deeper exposure and attention. If you have a shop with cash register and want to host Live Shopping events on Instagram, you can set up Live Shopping on Instagram.”

Facebook launched live shopping for the first time in 2018 and has been experimenting with ways to make the feature more seamless and popular over the past few years. The company started operations in November last year testing “Live Shopping for Creators.The launch allowed creators and brands to connect to each other on both of their pages, as opposed to directing users to a single page. In addition, the company Direct Shopping Fridays launched last summer to encourage bigger brands to try live shopping as a way to increase awareness of live shopping on Facebook. The program featured brands such as Abercrombie and Fitch, Bobbi Brown, Clinique and Sephora.

The direct shopping platform could eventually serve as a significant revenue stream for Facebook thanks to sales fees. applied at checkout. However, given today’s announcement, it’s clear that Facebook is rethinking its stance on direct purchases.

Facebook isn’t the only digital giant looking to scale back its live shopping plans, as it recently emerged that TikTok Reportedly abandoned plans to expand its live e-commerce initiative TikTok Shop in the US and other parts of Europe. Last year, the company launched the TikTok Shop in the UK, its first market outside of Asia, allowing companies and influencers to sell products via QVC-style live streams. However, the business struggled to gain traction with consumers and suffered from internal problems. Financial Times reported that expansion plans were abandoned after influencers pulled out of the project in the UK

Livestream purchases are becoming increasingly popular in Asia and especially in China. However, with both Facebook and TikTok pulling back on their live shopping programs, it appears that overall consumer awareness and adoption of live shopping is still low outside of Asia.

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