Instagram is pulling the plug on liveshopping, just like Facebook and TikTok had already done. From 16 March, brands will no longer be able to tag products in their live streams.
Instagram’s parent company Meta is abandoning live shopping in general, after live shopping was also abolished on Facebook last summer, saying it wants to “focus on products and features that offer the most value to our users”. In other words, the feature was not a success.
Instagram does stress that there will still be other ways to shop on the social network, though. Creating and running a shop on Instagram will remain possible, as the platform promised in a blog post it would continue to invest in shopping experiences for people and businesses.
Feelings remain very mixed about live shopping on social media. In China, they became wildly popular during the Covid pandemic. Tech giants all tried the phenomenon in the West, too, but it turns out that Western consumers are completely different. Even the hugely popular Chinese hype app TikTok stopped a British pilot project early last year. On YouTube, ‘creators’ can still sell their products in their videos via Shopify, however. Amazon now even has a full platform for that new form of teleshopping.