Meta will remove the live shopping feature on Facebook starting October 1, the company announced recently.
According to a report by Mav Gonzales on 24 Oras Weekend, the company has stated that netizens can no longer conduct or schedule live shopping events on Facebook.
“Beginning on October 1, 2022, you will no longer be able to host any new or scheduled Live Shopping events on Facebook,” Meta said in a blog post.
However, people will still be able to broadcast live events using Facebook Live, but they will not be able to make product playlists or tag products in Facebook Live recordings.
Users in the Philippines may still do live selling through Facebook, social media giant Meta clarified on Tuesday.
The company said the “Live Shopping” tool was not made available in the Philippines and was only available in select countries.
With this, Meta shared that users in the Philippines can continue to do live selling using Facebook Live.
Some live sellers expressed hope they can continue doing live selling.
“Sana nga po ‘wag na lang po kaming pigilan na mag live selling kasi malaking tulong din po ito sa amin,” Rowena Hererra said.
(We really hope we will not be stopped from doing live selling because it is a big help for us.)
Facebook live sellers
Filipino live sellers have been using Facebook's live streams to earn money, particularly during the pandemic, by allowing viewers to comment "mine" on the product they want.
For Nicole, a college student who has been conducting live selling for almost three years, the number of Facebook users who are also her customers is large enough to keep her business thriving.
“Sa una lang talaga mahirap pero sobrang daming tao sa Facebook na magkakaroon ka rin ng kumbaga buyers mo,” she said.
(It's only challenging initially, but Facebook has so many users that you will quickly have customers.)
Nicole would earn P10,000 to P15,000 per live selling, which is enough for her budget so she no longer gets money from her parents.
Herrera added that in order to catch customers' interest and encourage them to make a purchase, live sellers must also be engaged and enthusiastic about what they are selling.
“Mahirap din po kasi sa live selling po may mga [joy miners]. ‘Yung mag ma-'mine, mine, mine'. Pagdating ng oras na ibibigay mo na ‘yung invoice para sa mga nakuha nilang damit para sa mga babayaran, wala na po,” she added.
(It is also challenging with live selling because there are "joy miners," or people who continuously say "mine" for certain products. However, they disappear when you present the invoice for the items they need to pay for.)
Entrepreneurship and financial expert Armand Bengco claims that the pandemic is the reason live selling has grown profitable. He claims that well-known online shopping applications made a staggering $17 billion in 2021 alone, and that even large companies are now considering recruiting full-time live sellers as a result.
“Wala pa rito ‘yung mga nagla-live selling. Marami sa kanila they share their story — they earn P100,000, P200,000, to P300,000 a month. So imagine, pandemic came, mayroong nawalan ng trabaho, o mayroong mga nagnenegosyo. [Live selling] ‘yung bagong avenue o bagong merkado na kanilang pinasukan kaya talagang sumikat. Almost a requirement, that any business should get into actual online selling,” he added.
(People who conduct live selling are not yet included. Many of them tell their stories of earning P100,000 to P300,000 per month. So imagine, the pandemic hit, there were others who lost their jobs, and those who have businesses. Live selling was their new avenue or market that they ventured on. It's virtually a requirement that any firm should get into actual online selling.)
'Mine' no more?
While Facebook live selling has been a success, Meta stated that consumers' preferences are changing.
“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 said.
As an alternative, Facebook suggested that people experiment with Reels and Reels advertisements on Facebook and Instagram or tag products in Reels on Instagram, which is also owned by Meta.
Filipino live sellers have only done live selling on a comment "mine" basis, which differs from the feature that Facebook will remove. So, live sellers can still “flex” their products through live videos.
Bengco added that while live selling can never completely replace physical stores, having an online store can also assist increase sales.
“Not to resign or take it as your main source of income kaya nga dito sa Pilipinas, informal study pa lang, mataas ang selling after office hours. ‘Di malakas ang live selling ‘pag office hours. Nagtatrabaho ka 8-5, and then build your community kasi 'yan ang isang susi sa online selling,” Bengco added.
(Not to quit or make it your primary source of income. In the Philippines, according to informal studies, live selling sales are higher after office hours and not much during office hours when people work from 8 to 5. Then build your community because that is one of the keys to live selling.) —KG/AOL, GMA News