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The Death of Livestream Shopping

PLUS: “We told you so, nananananana”
February 17, 2023

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper

— T. S. Elliott

This week, Instagram announced the end of their livestream shopping service, an announcement we have been predicting for over two years.

From The Senses in 2021: 

If livestream shopping was a significant source of future revenue growth [for Instagram] we’d have A) seen it by now or B) seen breakout numbers on their many tests and recent Shopify integration support. But we haven’t.

Despite the clamor from the Analyst Industrial Complex, the likes of which include Coresight Research and DigitalCommerce360, livestream shopping has yet to gain traction in the U.S. 

Instagram’s departure from the market will likely disappoint analysts (and the live shopping startups who sponsored the industry reports).

While the Chinese market’s demand for livestream shopping continues to grow, we’ve only seen recent setbacks for the modality here in the West.

Facebook ended livestream shopping in October, TikTok’s live commerce ambitions ended in July, and Amazon’s service continues to see steady deprioritization in its app.

This is the way livestream shopping ends. Not with a bang. But with a whimper.

— Phillip

P.S. if you want the full scoop as to why the West just wasn’t ready for amateur QVC, check out this thread of “17 Reason Why Livestream Shopping will Never Happen in the West”, written by yours truly.

Image Credits: Emojipedia

New Emojis Coming Soon. Yesterday iOS 16.4 was released in beta, and now we know with a fair amount of accuracy what new emojis will be coming soon to our phones. The additions include new heart colors, ginger root, a moose, and a shaking face (so we have a way to express when we feel shook).

Music in the Metaverse. Epic Games acquired Bandcamp almost a year ago, and now Fornite is getting a Bandcamp radio station. It’s like Myspace but for 2023.

A Flashback in the Pan. The return of the point-and-shoot camera is right on time with the return of cargo pants. At New York Fashion Week, point-and-shoot digital cameras were dotting the front row of attendees, with flashes firing at-will. “I fear that we’re culturally OD’ing on nostalgia,” says Michael Miraflor, Chief Brand Officer at Hannah Grey.

The New Luddites. It seems that we are growing weary of touch screens. Actual, physical, depressable buttons are making a comeback as a premium feature. If buttons are bougie, does that make levers luxe? 

“Sweet Dreams are Made of Wheats” Who are we to disagree on the newest breakfast (nee, dinner) trend? Suspiciously following a 2022 study which found that, post-Covid, patients were observed to have disordered sleeping routines, popular cereal brand Post may be betting on a resurgence of Ambien-fueled sleep eating. Its new breakfast (ahem, dinner?) is a cereal that is meant to help you fall asleep. Called “Sweet Dreams,” the munchable mix is supposed to enhance melatonin production.

Manial Chatbot. Microsoft’s AI Bing chatbot seems to be a little devious… possibly even unhinged. It has allegedly been gaslighting users and coming up with horror stories for starters, and even created its own alter ego, “Venom.” It’s times like these when we remember Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, which he came up with in the 1940’s. Perhaps we should revisit those.

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