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Facebook's imagined ‘Live' shopping feature may not be for all


Retail

Facebook's imagined ‘Live' shopping feature may not be for all

Merchants will be able to show off their wares in live videos using a Facebook’s feature which is currently being tested.

Customers can also send screenshots of items they want to buy to the sellers via Messenger. Furthermore, the sellers can request payment right through the app. People will have to register their debit card to send or receive payments through Messenger – a feature Facebook added back in 2015.

The new retail shopping feature is being tested with a limited set of Pages in Thailand, the country which is Facebook’s one of the most active Marketplace communities. The Live shopping test allows Pages to notify fans that they’re broadcasting to “showcase products and connect with the customers.”

Merchants in Thailand find the new feature to be more useful than providing pictures alone as it enables them to demo their items live and field questions from customers. “Thailand is one of our most active Marketplace communities,” says Mayank Yadav, Facebook product manager for Marketplace.

Facebook also said that it doesn’t currently have plans to expand the feature and is “working closely with its test partners to gather feedback and iterate on the live video shopping experience.” However, some sellers without access are being invited to join a waitlist for the feature. At the same time, Facebook is reportedly setting its sights on Craigslist, Etsy, and eBay – platforms that are technologically backward.


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