Facebook will no longer allow users to host Live Shopping events beginning October 2022, Meta announced in a blog post. Meta rather wants to shift consumer and retailer attention to the company’s short-form videos, Reels. Lately, it seems like all roads on the platform lead in that direction.
Facebook launched live shopping two years ago with the goal of making online shopping more convenient. It provided an interactive way to sell items. The Facebook Live feature will still be available to broadcast live events, but e-commerce merchants cannot create product playlists or tag products after 1 October. This means retailers will have to seek other ways of connecting with consumers.
This hasn’t mattered much to South African users and businesses, but it does mean that the function won’t turn up here. It’s also a serious pointer as to where the company’s going next.
Meta is Reeling
In a move to compete with TikTok, Meta has increasingly invested in short-form videos. The format has steadily become more popular for content creators and users.
Meta is using that popularity to convince retailers to use videos to tag products, use ads, and engage with their target audience via Reels. The point is to keep up with TikTok, but that might not be going as well as Meta would like. Regardless, Reels appears to be here to stay.
“If you want to reach and engage people through video, try experimenting with Reels and Reels ads on Facebook and Instagram,” Meta suggested. “If you want to reach and engage people through video, try experimenting with Reels and Reels ads on Facebook and Instagram. You can also tag products in Reels on Instagram to enable deeper discovery and consideration. If you have a shop with checkout and want to host Live Shopping events on Instagram, you can set up Live Shopping on Instagram.”
You can also tag products in Reels on Instagram, which works sort of the same way as it did in Live Shopping.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub Insta Reels receive 22% more engagement than regular Instagram video posts. That might have something to do with Meta prioritising videos as recommendations, which would drive traffic for those post types up.
Most Gen Zs also see these short-form videos and TikToks as “pretty much the same” says the same website. Shifting to Reels may not be the worst idea, from Meta’s perspective. But if you’re a regular or high-profile Instagram user, you might not be so thrilled with the push in that direction.