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    Facebook to shut down live shopping feature

    • On October 1, Meta will shut down the live shopping feature on Facebook, according to a company post.
    • The company stated that “consumers’ viewing behaviors are shifting to short-form video,” pushing Meta to focus more on the video format Reels on Facebook and Instagram. However, live shopping functionality will remain on Instagram, per the post.
    • Users will still be able to use Facebook Live video, but will no longer be capable of creating product playlists or tagging products in the live feed.

    At the start of the year, there was a lot of talk regarding the potential for livestream shopping to become popular in the U.S. — a commerce format already successful in China. Meta doesn’t appear to share that confidence, at least for its Facebook platform.

    The heavy emphasis on utilizing Reels within the company post comes amid increased investment in the format. Meta has made a variety of changes to its Instagram platform in the past month, including a test function for full-screen Reels on Instagram’s feed. 

    Responding to user complaints of new changes to the platform, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri stated in an Instagram video last month: “I need to be honest. I do believe more and more of Instagram is going to become video over time.”

    This certainly isn’t an end to social commerce across Meta platforms though, as the company has been leaning into new shopping features and channels for months. Instagram launched a new payment-in-chat functionality for small businesses to utilize in July, and in April expanded the product tag feature to all users. Meta has also experimented with physical retail, celebrating Instagram’s Shop anniversary with a pop-up store in New York City in May. Additionally, Meta opened its first retail store to sell virtual reality equipment in California this year.

    Is the bet on social commerce and virtual reality paying off? Meta’s second quarter earnings report in July showed net income for the quarter dropped 36% to about $6.7 billion, total revenue fell 1% and operating income dropped 32% year over year. The company is reportedly also considering its first ever bond sale, according to Bloomberg.

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