Instagram Announces Exit From Livestream Shopping With Greater Focus On Ads

Instagram is officially bidding farewell to the world of livestream shopping as announced by its parent firm Meta today.

The app’s users will no longer be given the chance to tag products during any Livestream session starting early next month. This is very similar to the shutdown seen by Facebook recently.

March 16 is the designated deadline by Meta when Instagram will bid farewell to the feature that has been a broadly-offered featured across the US and its creators. This was launched in 2020. Moreover, such decisions are clear proof of the ongoing difficulties being faced in the American target market and how difficult it is to make endeavors like livestream shopping a success.

Furthermore, these changes are a clear picture of the great hardships so many businesses are forced to withstand while keeping the current economic downturn in mind.

Livestream shopping has definitely been a huge and roaring success in places like China where so many apps including Douyin, Taobao, WeChat, and more have witnessed great success. This has turned out to be such a profitable endeavor.

Remember, during the times of the pandemic, we saw in-store shopping dwindle and online shopping flourish. And it wasn’t just the Asian market that was doing a great job the American market also picked up on the trend, leading to apps like Facebook and Instagram jumping on the bandwagon.

After a while, so many people were referring to the world of live shopping as the future of the e-commerce industry. It was not only big brands like YouTube, Meta, and Amazon that were winning in this regard but other smaller platforms were seeing great success as well.

But as things slowly but surely returned toward normalcy, analysts observed that American consumers really did not take on the trend like all others. They just were not huge fans of live shopping. Moreover, stats proved how livestream shopping only made a mere 5% of the entire e-commerce sales across the US in the past year. This is thanks to data taken from Insider Intelligence.

After that, we saw the news coming from the likes of TikTok which was hailed as the best shopping leader for livestream sessions, thanks to the great responses generated from all users, taking a step back in this regard. They made the decision to take a step back from expanding their live commerce endeavors in the western market. Their tests showed how sales were extremely low.

Clearly, cultural differences and digital trends are very different in the West as compared to Asia so not always do trends work in the same manner in both these regions. While the concept of a super app may be huge in China, the West just is not big on such aspects.

Meanwhile, Meta says that although it is shutting the door on the live shopping feature, it is still investing big in the world of shopping. This has to do with at least 90% of users following at least a single brand on its site.

The goal for Meta is now to divert its attention and resources toward the world of advertising and away from live commerce. It similarly hopes to more automated tools such as Shop ads and Advantage+ shopping campaigns to better improve its performance. Similarly, there are plans to invest in the likes of checkout where users can purchase goods in a few steps from Facebook and Instagram’s Stories, Reels, and Feeds.

Just last month, we saw the Instagram platform go ahead and get rid of its Shop tab as a whole. It relocated the Reels away to the side of the feed and these changes were a clear signal of how its shopping features weren’t going as planned.

Read next: Instagram Is Working On The Ability For Users To Search For Viewers In Stories
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