KEY POINTS

  • The live shopping feature will be shut down on Oct. 1
  • Facebook urged its users to explore Reels if they want to engage with others
  • Meta previously discussed 'revamping its feed to compete with TikTok'

Facebook will shut down its live shopping feature in less than two months as the social media site shifts its focus on Reels. Facebook previously discussed overhauling its feed to catch up with its biggest competitor yet, TikTok.

In a blog post Wednesday, the social media giant said users “will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled live shopping events” starting Oct. 1. While Facebook Live can still be used to broadcast live events, users “won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in your Facebook Live videos.”

Explaining about the shutdown of its live shopping feature, the company said, “we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram” as viewing behaviors of its consumers have switched to short-form video.

Facebook went on to note that sellers can still host live shopping events through Instagram if they have a shop with the checkout feature. Furthermore, the company is encouraging users to experiment with Reels or Reels ads on both Facebook and Instagram if they want to engage with other consumers through video.

The live shopping feature was made available to Thai users in 2018. In November, “Live Shopping for Creators” was launched to allow creators and brands to cross-stream on the pages of both parties, TechCrunch reported.

In mid-June, a leaked internal memo revealed that Tom Alison, Meta executive for Facebook, spoke with CEO Mark Zuckerberg about completely revamping the Facebook feed to make it look more like TikTok, its biggest competitor to date. Alison recommended that the feed should recommend posts from anywhere or anyone, not just from accounts that Facebook users follow.

Facebook’s latest move came weeks after reports emerged about TikTok reportedly abandoning plans to expand its live selling “TikTok Shop” to some parts of Europe and the United States.

People with knowledge of the matter told the Financial Times that the short video platform dropped plans for western expansion after influencers in the U.K. dropped out of the planned project. TikTok Shop was launched in the U.K. last year, but it has since struggled to get consumers interested. There were also reports of internal problems in the U.K. project.

Facebook began its push into audio with the US launch of its 'live audo rooms' and podcasts, which are available directly on the Facebook app
Facebook began its push into audio with the US launch of its 'live audo rooms' and podcasts, which are available directly on the Facebook app AFP / OLIVIER DOULIERY
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