Call it a reality check. Facebook, Instagram and TikTok are now pulling back from social commerce after betting big on it booming following a pandemic-induced spike in online sales. Don’t call it a complete U-turn, though, these moves are more of a rethink of what social commerce means moving forward.
Here’s the rundown on how and why each platform has pulled back from social commerce, and whether this feature will ever catch on with advertisers.
Meta will shut down Facebook’s live commerce shopping program next month after sister site Instagram axed its affiliate commerce program in August.
It seems one of the biggest issues which drove this decision was the changes Apple made to iOS 14, with the depreciation of its IDFAs. “That caused a drop in attributed performance on Meta, and resulted in a lot of brands reassessing the role of Meta’s platforms in their campaigns,” said Mudit Jaju, global head of e-commerce at Wavemaker Global.
Then there’s TikTok. While not totally pulling the ripcord on social commerce, the short-form video app has announced its plan to streamline its commerce solution by creating three new advertising formats, with the aim of simplifying the process for marketers leading up to the busy Q4 holiday period of 2022. This came after The Financial Times reported the app had abandoned its social commerce expansion plans in Europe and the U.S.