Business, E-Commerce, Livestream Shopping

Live Shopping on Social Media: Why Facebook and Instagram are Shutting it Down and What it Means for Online Brands

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Facebook recently shut down its live shopping feature. And now Instagram has also announced that it will stop Live Shopping this month. This move has raised questions about the future of live e-commerce on social media.


Facebook Live Shopping: 

Facebook introduced Live Shopping just two years ago. But last October, the company stopped live commerce. Instead, it shifted its focus from e-commerce to short-form videos like reels.


Instagram Livestream Shopping:

Starting March 16, 2023, Instagram is removing product tagging from live streams. A similar statement was made for Instagram: the company focuses on the products and features that provide the most value to its users.


Why? Is Live shopping not profitable enough?

The US market has not experienced the same explosive growth in live-streaming e-commerce as China. But, there is no doubt that US customers also embrace live shopping. 

According to a report by Coresight Research and Bambuser:

  • The live-streaming e-commerce market will reach $31.7 billion by 2023. And it will be nearly triple its size in 2021. 
  • Furthermore, the market will reach $67.8 billion by 2026, accounting for more than 5% of e-commerce.
  • Most importantly, 64% of consumers prefer Meta to get live shopping events.

As a result of these data, we can’t say it isn’t profitable.

So why does Meta quit when they already have 64% of this market? 

The best reason is that they do not want to be a full-fledged shopping platform.

It looks like they made a strategic decision for their platform. Meta (Facebook and Instagram) wants not to continue the live shopping feature. It does not want to transform the platform into a full-fledged shopping platform. 

Instagram has introduced several shopping-related features in recent years. These include the ability to tag products in posts and stories. Nonetheless, they likely want to balance shopping and other content types on their platform.

By focusing too much on shopping, Instagram risks alienating users who are more interested in other types of content, such as photos, videos, and stories. By keeping its shopping features more limited, Instagram can better serve the diverse interests of its user base and provide a more balanced and engaging platform as a whole.

Also, by not fully committing to a shopping-focused platform, Instagram may avoid some of the regulatory or legal issues that being a full-fledged e-commerce platform can bring. For example, according to US law, shopping platforms can also be liable in lawsuits for third-party products sold.

Finally, forecasts may show slowing growth. However, the world grapples with the pandemic, wars, earthquakes, and economic crises. The increasing inflation worldwide is also affecting the e-commerce industry deeply. On the other hand, the market is getting crowded day by day. That’s why, more than ever, brands need new ways and channels to connect with customers. Therefore, it is clear that live commerce is the next big thing for brands looking to connect with customers.


New Opportunities for Livestreaming in the Wake of Facebook and Instagram’s Changes

Online brands should use social media for promoting their products and events and customer interactions instead of focusing on direct selling on social media like Instagram or Facebook. For example, brands may invite shoppers to their websites for live or online shopping.

Through live commerce, brands can showcase their products more interactively and engagingly. Moreover, while doing this, it also provides an immersive experience for customers.

So, where will brands do if they can’t trade live on social media? On their website!

Brands must incorporate livestream shopping into their own websites.

To adapt to this changing landscape, online brands can:

  • Use social media for product and event promotion
  • Use social media for customer interactions
  • Make your announcements for Live Shopping events on social media.
  • Share fun videos about what happened at the event on social media.

In fact, just like in the past…

Even broadcast your shopping event on social media. But remember to invite your audience to your website to shop. 

Wrap-Up: The Future of Live Shopping

Instagram shutting down live shopping sparked a debate about the future of live commerce on social media.

Although the live commerce market has grown significantly in the coming years, Facebook and Instagram are out of business. Because they are interested in staying a social platform rather than transforming a shopping platform.

So what does this mean for online brands?

They must integrate live commerce into their websites to succeed in this changing environment. Social media can still be used for product and event promotion as well as engagement. However, brands should now organize live shopping events on their own websites. Live shopping is one of the most effective practices for connecting with customers in engaging and immersive ways. In fact, brands that incorporate livestream into their websites will get a share of the $3.7 billion market.


Did you check our livestream shopping solution?

With Arvia Live Shopping, e-commerce businesses showcase their products and services through live video shopping experiences. As a result, customers have a more engaging shopping experience by interacting with the brand in real time.

Chat, polls, searching&highlighting products, and “add to cart” with one click are some features. The solution also offers built-in integrations with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify and WordPress. It can also integrate with other tools via API and Webhooks.

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