Instagram is removing the “Live Shopping” feature, which allows creators and businesses in the US to directly tag products and promote links in their broadcasts. Starting March 16, 2023, creators will no longer be able to tag products while live on Instagram, the company said in an update in Help Center.
“This change will help us focus on products and features that provide the most value to our users,” Instagram said, hinting that Live Shopping hasn’t exactly been doing well since its introduction in 2020. Although creators won’t be able to readily incorporate product links when they livestream on Instagram, they will still be able to live broadcast on the platform.
Instead of live shopping, Instagram will prioritize ads as the main way for users to discover and shop businesses. Last month, the platform removed the Store tab from Home feed and relocated Reels in response to user criticism of the overemphasis on video content.
Even though Meta is discontinuing its live shopping service on Instagram, the company claims that they are still committed to the shopping experience on the platform. “Shopping is important to Instagram. 90% of people follow at least one business on Instagram,” a Meta spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement to Gizmodo.
Users will still be able to make direct purchases via the platform’s ads. Gizmodo was also pointed to other recent ad-tech initiatives by the company, such as its “Advantage+ shopping campaigns” that employ artificial intelligence to speed up the creation of ads (including shoppable ads).
The corporate representative also mentioned that via stories, Reels, and the main feed, users can still make purchases on Instagram and Facebook “with a few taps.”