Meta is still taking some shopping features away. Live shopping will end on March 16th, Instagram has told its users. From then on, shops won’t be able to tag items during live streams, so you’ll have to wait (or use more sociable links) to buy must-have items. The social network said the change would help it “focus” on its most essential features.
The change happened at the same time that Instagram took the shopping tab off the home screen months after Facebook stopped Live Shopping and told stores to use Reels. Shopping is still a part of posts, reels, and stories on these social media apps, but Meta is getting back to basics more and more. When live shopping came to Instagram for the first time in 2020, many people were forced to shop online because of the pandemic.
The decision doesn’t come as a surprise. Meta is looking for ways to cut costs because a tough economy and a pricey metaverse pivot are hurting its bottom line. It wants to cut projects that don’t do well the most. Gizmodo says that could include Instagram’s “live shopping” feature. Insider Intelligence said that social shopping was only expected to make up 5% of e-commerce in the US in 2022. If that’s true, Meta only makes a little money when people buy things during live broadcasts.
Meta is one of many who need help with shopping features. TikTok was going to bring live shopping to North America at the end of last year, but it was only going to use outsourced technology. Last summer, sources told the Financial Times that TikTok was cutting back on its plans because it wasn’t getting many users in the UK, and many its employees were leaving. Simply put, there might not be as many people interested in social shopping as tech companies think.