By: Nick Gambino

Meta is shutting down Facebook Live Shopping on October 1st and focusing on Instagram and Facebook Reels instead. The feature allows creators to host live streams where they can sell products, much like QVC.

“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 product,” a Meta blog post reads. “If you want to reach and engage people through video, try experimenting with Reels and Reels ads on Facebook and Instagram.”

The post points out the fact that they’re only shuttering the Live Shopping feature on Facebook and keeping it open on Instagram. That begs the question of what game they’re playing here. If it was strictly to focus on Reels, then why not remove Live Shopping on Instagram?

I understand there are an infinite number of moving parts in this multi-billion-dollar conglomerate with an endless flow of data derived from human behavior analyzing algorithms. But still, what’s going on?

Live shopping has only been around for a couple years and never really took off like they expected. While some creators saw it as yet another way to monetize their pages, most relied on other means like affiliate ads to make money. It has proved successful in China but has been dragging in other countries. Even TikTok is winding down their similar Livestream shopping feature.

With the proliferation of social media and now, during the pandemic, extremely short-form social media content, it makes sense that users don’t want to stick around for 30 or 40 minutes for creators to get to the point. I mean, I get it. If a YouTube video is more than 6 minutes, I hesitate to push play.

Still, there is a place for stuff that isn’t inspired by TikTok. Sure, they took off during the pandemic and were the hot new thing, but they were simply filling a specific void. If Instagram becomes TikTok, then that will leave yet another void that somebody else will gladly fill.

All this is to say, it’s fine if they shut down Facebook Live Shopping (but oddly not Instagram Live Shopping), just don’t put all your eggs in one short-form basket.