Any retailer that wants to sell products on Instagram via livestream video needs to act quickly.
Live shopping on the Instragram app will soon be a thing of the past. In a brief Facebook post, Instagram announced that beginning on March 16, 2023, users will no longer be able to tag products for sale in live broadcasts. Other Instagram shopping features will not be affected by the end of livestream commerce.
“This change will help us focus on products and features that provide the most value to our users,” Instagram said in the post.“You will still be able to set up and run your shop on Instagram as we continue to invest in shopping experiences for people and businesses across feed, stories, Reels, ads and more.”
Instagram originally introduced livestream shopping on its IGTV long-form video app in October 2020. It enables consumers to watch and buy an item in just a few taps right from a video. They can complete the purchase either with Instagram Checkout or on the seller’s website. Instagram went on to add livestream commerce functionality across its IGTV, Live, Stories, and Reels features.
In August 2020, Instagram launched a shopping destination called Instagram Shop, which allows customers to discover and buy products from a single location within the Instagram app. Instagram Shop will remain open following the closure of Instagram’s livestream shopping service.
In addition, users will still be able to engage in other Instagram live broadcast activities, such as scheduling a live broadcast, inviting guests to join a live broadcast, and holding a live Q&A.
Facebook to shut down live shopping feature for retailers
Instagram’s decision to shutter its livestream retailing operation comes a few months after parent company Facebook exited the livestream shopping space. In October 2022, the social media network closed down its live shopping feature and shifted its focus to Reels.
Facebook Live is still available to broadcast live events, but users are no longer able to create product playlists or tag products in their Facebook Live videos. At the time the company announced its decision to scale back live shopping, Facebook cited consumers changing habits.
“As consumers’ viewing behaviors are shifting to short-form video, we are shifting our focus to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, Meta’s short-form video product,” the company stated.
Facebook also launched livestream video shopping in 2020. The feature was designed to give creators and brands an interactive way to sell items, connect with viewers and reach new customers.