In China, livestream shopping — when influencers sell goods through streaming platforms — is a huge business:
- The industry had an estimated market size of $500B in 2022.
- In just half an hour during China’s 2020 Singles’ Day shopping festival, livestream platform Taobao processed $7.5B in transactions. During the 2021 event, one social media personality (Viya) single-handedly pushed $1B worth of product.
- There are literally boot camps to train for a career in the field.
In the United States, however, chances are you’ve never watched such a livestream, according to data obtained by CNBC.
Now, it appears, those chances may shrink further with Instagram announcing plans to shut down its live shopping feature.
The move underlines some struggles livestream shopping has faced in Western markets. Beyond Instagram, Meta dropped live shopping from Facebook in October, and TikTok’s live shopping tests have reportedly seen mixed results.
Still, while the West has yet to replicate China’s success — with TikTok, Amazon, and YouTube’s continued investment in the space, and live shopping startups like Whatnot raising $485m — the industry may just need some time.
BTW: Viya was also fined $210m for tax evasion.
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