Media & Entertainment

Facebook debuts ‘Live Shopping Fridays’ featuring beauty, fashion and skincare brands

Comment

Facebook wants to whet consumers’ appetite for live streamed shopping with this week’s launch of “Live Shopping Fridays” event series, which will see larger brands live streaming beauty, skincare, and fashion content on a weekly basis. The event begins Friday, May 22nd and runs through mid-July, with streams from brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Sephora, Dermalogica, Alleyoop, and Zox.

The events are meant to encourage larger brands to try out live shopping as a medium, as well as generally raise awareness about live shopping on Facebook among consumers.

The brands will use their live shopping events in a number of ways. They may give a behind-the-scenes look at their business or they may partner with creators to showcase their products in “how-to” style videos, for example.

During the live streams, viewers can comment and ask questions which brands can read and respond to. Shoppers can also tap on the products displayed in the stream to learn more without having to leave the video. If they want to buy, they can add them to the cart and check out at any time — during or even after the event has wrapped. The brands receive the customer’s shipping information, and if the consumer opts in, they can gain access to other details as well, like email and phone number.

Live stream video shopping became publicly available on Facebook last summer, following a series of smaller trials and beta tests, where the format initially found traction with smaller to medium-sized businesses and digital-first brands, Facebook says.

The Covid pandemic also pushed adoption of the format, in some cases, as creative business owners turned to live shopping to reach their customers when lockdowns closed non-essential businesses.

Image Credits: Facebook

More recently, larger brands like Petco and Bobbi Brown have run live shopping events — the former as part of a charity effort, and the latter with a live stream featuring tips from makeup artist Michele Shakeshaft. (Pictured)

“The way that we’re thinking about this is that e-commerce has made buying incredibly convenient. So when you have a need, you pull out your phone, purchase, and your order is on its way,” explains Yulie Kwon Kim, who leads product for Facebook App Commerce.

“But buying is not shopping. And so, a lot of what people do is window shop to see what’s new, for entertainment. You discover something cool that you didn’t know about. When you’re shopping, people often want to hear from a live person, get suggestions, and see the product and context,” she says. “And increasingly, people are discovering and deciding what to buy through social media,” Yulie adds.

She also notes that almost three-quarters of consumers globally are getting shopping ideas through Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, and almost two-thirds agree that social media has now become as important as other information sources when making purchase decisions.

 

Facebook says the live events will be presented to consumers in a number of ways during the summer. If you follow a brand, you’ll be notified of their participation. You’ll also see News Feed announcements where you’ll be notified when events are starting (see above). And the Facebook Shop tab will offer a schedule of upcoming live shopping streams taking place across the platform.

Facebook, of course, is not the only one to realize the potential in live shopping.

Startups like NTWRK, Popshop Live, Talkshoplive, Dote, Bambuser, and others brought the live shopping model already popular in China to the U.S. and other markets, many months before the pandemic. TikTok has been testing live shopping, including with Walmart in the U.S., as well.

Amazon, meanwhile, live streams to its website, and YouTube announced earlier this year its beta tests of an integrated e-commerce experience.

As for Facebook, a live shopping platform could ultimately serve as a significant revenue stream, thanks to selling fees applied at checkout. While Facebook did waive those selling fees through June 2021 — a decision it claims was to help support small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic — that move also conveniently helps Facebook stake its place in the live stream shopping market land grab now underway. Facebook also needs to diversify its revenue, given that Apple’s privacy push around third-party tracking will hurt Facebook’s ad business. 

Facebook’s Live Shopping Fridays series will roll out across both mobile and desktop in the U.S. this week, and will also pop on Facebook’s Shop Tab for easy access.

More TechCrunch

Meta’s Oversight Board has now extended its scope to include the company’s newest platform, Instagram Threads, and has begun hearing cases from Threads.

Meta’s Oversight Board takes its first Threads case

The company says it’s refocusing and prioritizing fewer initiatives that will have the biggest impact on customers and add value to the business.

SeekOut, a recruiting startup last valued at $1.2 billion, lays off 30% of its workforce

The U.K.’s self-proclaimed “world-leading” regulations for self-driving cars are now official, after the Automated Vehicles (AV) Act received royal assent — the final rubber stamp any legislation must go through…

UK’s autonomous vehicle legislation becomes law, paving the way for first driverless cars by 2026

ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI chatbot, has taken the world by storm. What started as a tool to hyper-charge productivity through writing essays and code with short text prompts has evolved…

ChatGPT: Everything you need to know about the AI-powered chatbot

SoLo Funds CEO Travis Holoway: “Regulators seem driven by press releases when they should be motivated by true consumer protection and empowering equitable solutions.”

Fintech lender SoLo Funds is being sued again by the government over its lending practices

Hard tech startups generate a lot of buzz, but there’s a growing cohort of companies building digital tools squarely focused on making hard tech development faster, more efficient and —…

Rollup wants to be the hardware engineer’s workhorse

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is not just about groundbreaking innovations, insightful panels, and visionary speakers — it’s also about listening to YOU, the audience, and what you feel is top of…

Disrupt Audience Choice vote closes Friday

Google says the new SDK would help Google expand on its core mission of connecting the right audience to the right content at the right time.

Google is launching a new Android feature to drive users back into their installed apps

Jolla has taken the official wraps off the first version of its personal server-based AI assistant in the making. The reborn startup is building a privacy-focused AI device — aka…

Jolla debuts privacy-focused AI hardware

OpenAI is removing one of the voices used by ChatGPT after users found that it sounded similar to Scarlett Johansson, the company announced on Monday. The voice, called Sky, is…

OpenAI to remove ChatGPT’s Scarlett Johansson-like voice

The ChatGPT mobile app’s net revenue first jumped 22% on the day of the GPT-4o launch and continued to grow in the following days.

ChatGPT’s mobile app revenue saw its biggest spike yet following GPT-4o launch

Dating app maker Bumble has acquired Geneva, an online platform built around forming real-world groups and clubs. The company said that the deal is designed to help it expand its…

Bumble buys community building app Geneva to expand further into friendships

CyberArk — one of the army of larger security companies founded out of Israel — is acquiring Venafi, a specialist in machine identity, for $1.54 billion. 

CyberArk snaps up Venafi for $1.54B to ramp up in machine-to-machine security

Founder-market fit is one of the most crucial factors in a startup’s success, and operators (someone involved in the day-to-day operations of a startup) turned founders have an almost unfair advantage…

OpenseedVC, which backs operators in Africa and Europe starting their companies, reaches first close of $10M fund

A Singapore High Court has effectively approved Pine Labs’ request to shift its operations to India.

Pine Labs gets Singapore court approval to shift base to India

The AI Safety Institute, a U.K. body that aims to assess and address risks in AI platforms, has said it will open a second location in San Francisco. 

UK opens office in San Francisco to tackle AI risk

Companies are always looking for an edge, and searching for ways to encourage their employees to innovate. One way to do that is by running an internal hackathon around a…

Why companies are turning to internal hackathons

Featured Article

I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Women in tech still face a shocking level of mistreatment at work. Melinda French Gates is one of the few working to change that.

1 day ago
I’m rooting for Melinda French Gates to fix tech’s  broken ‘brilliant jerk’ culture

Blue Origin has successfully completed its NS-25 mission, resuming crewed flights for the first time in nearly two years. The mission brought six tourist crew members to the edge of…

Blue Origin successfully launches its first crewed mission since 2022

Creative Artists Agency (CAA), one of the top entertainment and sports talent agencies, is hoping to be at the forefront of AI protection services for celebrities in Hollywood. With many…

Hollywood agency CAA aims to help stars manage their own AI likenesses

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine