Meta hasn’t finished retiring some of its shopping features. Instagram has warned users that live shopping will be shut down on March 16. From that day on, stores can’t tag products during live streams: you’ll have to wait until afterward (or rely on inelegant links) to shop for must-haves. The social network explained the measure as a way to “help [it] focus” on the main features.
The move comes just as Instagram is removing the shopping tab from the home screen, and months after Facebook shut down Live Shopping and steered stores toward Reels. Shopping is still a part of these social media apps in posts, Reels, and Stories, but Meta has increasingly taken a back-to-basics approach. Live shopping first came to Instagram in 2020, just as many people were forced to shop online during the pandemic.
The decision is not surprising. Meta is looking for ways to cut costs, as a tough economy and an expensive metaverse pivot affect its bottom line, and is particularly eager to cut initiatives that are underperforming. As gizmodo explains, that could include Instagram live shopping. Social media-based shopping was only expected to account for five percent of US e-commerce by 2022, according to Insider Intelligence. If that’s true, Meta doesn’t earn much from purchases during live streams.
Meta isn’t the only one having issues with shopping features. TikTok was ready to bring live shopping to North America late last year, but only using outsourced technology. financial time sources claimed last summer that TikTok was scaling back its plans amid poor acceptance in the UK and a mass exodus of employees. Simply put, there may not be as much of an audience for social shopping as the tech giants are hoping.
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