Removal of Facebook’s ‘live shopping’ feature upsets online live sellers in Cagayan de Oro – Reuters

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – An announcement on Facebook that it will remove the “live shopping feature” has caused some anxiety among small businesses that depend on the feature for their livelihoods here.

In an online post from the Facebook page of Upmesh-Philippines, a live commerce system, he clarified that the live shopping functionality that will be removed by Meta Platforms Inc., Facebook’s parent company, will not will only affect users in the United States of America. .

“If you saw this news about Facebook shutting down its Live Shopping feature in October, don’t panic! This feature was only available to users in the United States and not in Southeast Asia,” the online post read.

“What we use is the Live Videos feature, where we not only sell but also entertain and build connections,” the online publication added.

Based on Meta’s Youtube live shopping tutorial, Facebook live shopping function allows users to create a product playlist, and the “Add to Cart” and “Product Details” buttons can be seen during the live video.

This is the feature that Facebook will remove from October 1st.

“You will still be able to use Facebook Live to stream live events, but you won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in your Facebook Live videos,” Meta said.

This feature is also different from the way Filipinos sell live, where they only use the “Live Video” feature on Facebook and use the “mine” system in the comments section when purchasing items. .

Buyers would only comment on the word “mine” next to the product description provided by the seller if they want to purchase the items that were flexed by the live seller during the video.

According to Meta, Facebook as well as Instagram will focus on Reels, an abbreviated video product from Meta, as consumer viewing behavior shifts towards said type of video.

“If you want to reach and engage people through video, try experimenting with Reels and Reels ads on Facebook and Instagram. You can also tag products in Reels on Instagram to allow for deeper discovery and consideration” , added the Meta.

Still, many online business operators here felt the threat to their livelihoods after this Meta announcement.

When the news was shared on social media, some of Kagay-anon’s live sellers expressed concerns as live selling was their main source of livelihood, especially amid the continued threat of Covid-19.

Meta Platforms Inc. recently announced the upcoming removal of the “live shopping events” feature on Facebook starting the first day of October.

Meta, however, clarified that Facebook can still be used to stream live events, but users can no longer create product playlists or tag products in the live video.

“As of October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to host new or scheduled live shopping events on Facebook. You’ll still be able to use Facebook Live to stream live events, but you won’t be able to create product playlists or tag products in your Facebook Live videos,” Meta said via its Business Help Center.

Online sellers, worker concerns

Sarah Fatima Vallar, also known as Madame Kolera, an online seller known here with over 51,000 followers on Facebook and over 230,000 followers on Tiktok, pointed out that removing the live selling opportunity would have a huge impact on his business.

“Of course. Dako siyag (It has a huge impact) on sa ko (on my) business kay (because) so far maayo ang kita sa akong pag (I have a better income in) live selling Vallar told the Manila Bulletin.

Meanwhile, Carmela Bartolaba, a 19-year-old live seller from Barangay Carmen who sells bags and wallets, felt sad at the news and stressed how badly she needed the live selling business. to support herself financially, especially now that she is pregnant.

“Feel sad kay imbis mao rana akong panginabuhi para maka tabang unta sa akong pamilya ug usa pa, pregnant ko. Dakong tabang pud sa akoa ang online sale kay dha ko naka income nga makapalit me sa among panginahanglanon,” a-t she declared.

(This [live selling] is the only source of income we have so that I can support my family and apart from that I am pregnant. Selling online is also a big help as that’s where I can earn income so we can shop for our needs.)

Besides online sellers, an employee of a local store who also sells products through Facebook Live, also expressed concern over Facebook’s recent announcement.

Jehaziel Jane Florano, a customer service representative for a local clothing store here, said she was worried about the possibility of losing her job as the removal of direct selling could likely affect their store’s sales.

“Gabalaka ko kay mugamay basin among sales ug magtang-tang basin og trabahante (I am worried because our sales may decrease and maybe they [the shop] would reduce their workers),” Florano said.

She could not provide an estimated amount, however, Florano said that their live sales are better than their sales in their physical store located in one of the malls in this city.

“Further, online is where the man has more reach. Nationally, baya me ug gagasto gyud ang tag-iya alang his publicity (Sales are better online because we have greater We ship nationwide and the owner spends money on advertising as well),” she said.

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