With a billion active users and an engagement almost 60% higher than Facebook’s, Instagram has found a way to increase customer engagement with its new e-commerce feature – Instagram Live Shopping.
This was big news in early 2020 when the feature was introduced to Instagram users, today, Instagram live shopping is not only “old” news but will not be available from March 16.
On Tuesday, February 14, Instagram announced that they would be ending the option to tag products during live streams. According to Instagram, this change will help them focus more on the products and features that users value better.
In this article you will find the answers about what happened in the meantime and why Meta decided to focus on other things.
What was the Instagram Live Shopping feature?
Instagram Live Shopping allowed users to sell their products and engage with buyers in real time. Brands could tag items from the product catalog and show up on the bottom of the screen, where shoppers could buy directly from the app during the live broadcast. Also, live videos could be saved so followers could purchase after the broadcast.
Businesses could tag products in their Instagram stories, reels, and mentions.
Why has Meta changed its plans?
Meta’s plan to distance itself from live shopping isn’t a surprise. You may notice that the shopping tab was removed from the home page this month.
The effects of the pandemic
During the pandemic, online shopping boomed; but when things went to “normal” again analysts discovered buyers still needed to embrace live shopping after things went normal. And not only Instagram – the same thing happened to TikTok, which scaled back live shopping plans because of low sales.
Will shops disappear from Instagram?
The answer is NO; shops will not disappear from Instagram completely. Instagram has added that users can still set up and manage their stores while the platform continues to invest in the shopping experience using the feed, ads, stories, and more.
Other features will remain the same, such as scheduling a live broadcast and inviting guests to join it.
Meta couldn’t maintain consumer interest
Ending Instagram live shopping after only a year indicates that Meta couldn’t maintain consumer interest in social commerce.
Zuckerberg called 2023 the year of efficiency, pointing out that the company will be more proactive about ending projects that aren’t performing well or may no longer be as important. Meta’s CEO also said their main focus will be increasing the efficiency of their top priorities.
In an exclusive interview, Eva Chen, head of Instagram’s fashion partnerships, said it has always been “the fashion love” platform. She confirmed that people in the fashion industry are big Instagram fans since it provides them with various things.
Other platforms still invest in a live shopping
Although Meta is retiring from live shopping, other platforms are still working hard on developing new tools.
Last year, in July, Youtube announced it partnered with Shopify to launch integrated live-stream shopping. The Shopify partnership allows YouTube creators to connect their stores directly to their profiles.
Also, TikTok has launched an in-app checkout option in the US that lets businesses sell their products on the platform.
It’s unknown when TikTok will expand live shopping features to other locations.
Will TikTok be more successful with its shopping experience than Meta? Only the time will show.
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