The announcement from Meta today that they are phasing out onboarding of new shops without checkout on Facebook and Instagram enabled is sure to make some retailers unhappy. These platforms are popular methods for users to find and purchase products, so it makes sense for Meta to continue supporting them. However, this decision may ultimately force some retailers who rely on these platforms to find a new way to operate.
Without checkout enabled on Facebook and Instagram, people may find it harder to purchase items from some of their favorite shops. This change will happen starting April 24 next year, meaning that any shops that direct customers to an e-commerce site for purchases instead of allowing people to make purchases directly through the social media platforms will no longer be accessible. Though this change may inconvenience some shoppers, it is a gradual step in the right direction for online commerce as a whole.
Facebook is announcing that by the end of the year, all Shops on their platform will need to be linked to a website in order for shoppers to checkout. The move is seen as an effort to ease the transition for retailers who want to take advantage of Facebook’s powerful advertising capabilities. However, in select markets where Facebook sees a future opportunity for checkout, they will continue support Shops that link directly to their website. This means that all other markets will no longer be able to host a Shop on their Facebook or Instagram page or use product tagging in posts beginning on August 10, 2023.
Businesses without checkout-enabled shops will no longer be able to use features associated with Shops, including organic product tagging in posts and creating new custom/lookalike audiences derived from people who visited a Shop. This means that these businesses will need to find other ways to connect with their customers and get more traction for their businesses.
Many businesses use the Content Publishing API to tag products for sale on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. However, starting on August 10, 2023, these companies will no longer be able to tag products using this API. This will impact both the API and native interfaces. After this date, product tags on previous posts will not be returned from the endpoint.
Now is the time for all shops to enable checkout. Facebook and Instagram are requiring it in order to keep users on the platform. If you don’t enable checkout by April of next year, your shop will be inactive and people won’t be able to see or buy what you have to offer. So make sure you get started now!
Facebook is making an automated update to Pages on June 5, 2023 that will remove a lot of the old features and make way for the new Pages experience. If your Facebook Page is not updated to this new experience by then, it will be done automatically. This update won’t support things like managing and posting catalog or product details pages from a Facebook Page, but businesses will still be able to post links to their website.
Shopping on social media platforms has long been a popular way for users to spend their free time. However, the new change by Facebook and Instagram – which will allow businesses to sell products through their pages – could mark a major shift in the way users shop. By providing a dedicated platform for businesses to sell products, this change could help businesses grow and expand their reach, while also making shopping more convenient for users.
This decision by Meta is likely a response to the increasing popularity of Shop on Instagram and Facebook. The meta platform is hoping to become the sole choice for checkout for these platforms, which would give it an edge over its competitors.