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Meta just killed another service and, perhaps with it, some shopping features

Meta shuts down another service. This time, Facebook Live Shopping will be offline on October 1, 2022.

Starting from that date (opens in new tab), no one will be able to host new or planned live shopping streams. Facebook Live will remain, but you won’t be able to tag products in those videos or create product playlists, according to the announcement. The social media platform encourages people to save their previous live streams and links to a set of instructions on how to do it (opens in new tab).

Live Shopping is shutting down as Meta wants to focus on Reels as its main video platform. Facebook claims that people watch short-form videos more often and adjusts accordingly. For sellers who still want to live stream, the company tells users to use Live shopping on Instagram (opens in new tab), Instead. He also recommends that people try Reels and Wheel ads (opens in new tab) to highlight their products in their videos.

While live e-commerce isn’t dead on Meta’s platforms, it’s certainly a blow.

Short life span

Facebook Live Shopping is another short-lived product that, some might argue, was prematurely terminated. Live markets arrived for the first time in 2018 when tested on a handful of pages in Thailand before being released on one official capacity in 2020. And it’s not like Live Shopping was ignored, as it saw fairly frequent updates.

In November 2021, the Live marketplaces for creators (opens in new tab) which allows content creators and product brands to cross-stream on their respective pages without forcing their audience to choose one live stream over the other. The platform also experimented with weekly events last summer via Live Markets Friday (opens in new tab). Major beauty and fashion brands came to the platform to promote their new product lines in an interactive live stream.

What makes the sudden closure of Live Shopping even more surprising is that it had a lot of potential to succeed. Look The Live Shopping business page on the Meta websitethe platform was expected to generate $500 billion in revenue by 2023.

It looks like Meta really believed in the platform, so what gives?

Analysis: Roller support

There is a lot of growth potential for e-commerce live shopping as the industry continues to grow. A Statista study (opens in new tab) revealed that live e-commerce sales reached $6 billion in 2020 and are forecast to reach $11 billion in 2021. And it’s predicted that sales could reach $35 billion by 2024. These numbers look reasonable when you look at how successful was live e-commerce in China. Consulting group McKinsey Digital said in a 2021 report (opens in new tab) that Chinese live e-commerce sales could reach $423 billion this year.

Apart from the growth aspect, the shutdown will definitely have a negative impact on Live Shopping based businesses. In a Business Insider report (opens in new tab)Mimi Striplin, owner of The Tiny Tassel boutique, revealed that sales for her store increased by nearly 50 percent after her first Live Shopping stream.

These numbers call into question Meta’s insistence on making Reels a bigger part of its platforms. Yes, Facebook Marketplace and Live will still exist, and yes, you can still do live eCommerce streams on Instagram. There are indeed options, but is it worth shutting down a platform that people depend on and has growth potential to promote Reels?

Maybe Meta thinks e-commerce shopping isn’t worth it and Reels is. But there are plenty of users out there pushing back against short-form videos taking over platforms.

Daryl Baxter of TechRadar tempted to delete his Instagram account after a fairly recent Reels update. We suggest you check out what he had to say.

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