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Instagram and Facebook will force their checkout experience on Shops soon

Meta announced today that it will be phasing out onboarding of new Shops without checkout on Facebook and Instagram enabled. Beginning April 24 of next year, Shops without checkout on Facebook and Instagram enabled will no longer be accessible. This means that shops that direct people to an e-commerce site to complete a purchase, rather than allowing people to make a purchase directly through Facebook or Instagram, will no longer be accessible.

"In the U.S., we will focus on helping businesses add checkout to their Shop," the company wrote in a blog post. "To ease the transition, we will continue to support Shops that link to a website until April 24, 2024. In select markets where we see a future opportunity to introduce checkout, we’ll continue to support Shops that link to a website to make the transition as easy as possible. 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 located in 21 international markets will continue to be able to use Facebook and Instagram shops without checkout enabled until further notice, Meta says. These markets include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and Ukraine.

Beginning June 5, onboarding of new shops via Commerce Manager and Shopify will only be with checkout on Facebook and Instagram enabled. By August 10, onboarding of new shops via all other partners will only be with checkout on Facebook and Instagram enabled.

Meta notes that 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.

"Beginning August 10, 2023, some businesses without checkout-enabled Shops on Facebook and Instagram will no longer be able to tag their products via the Content Publishing API," the company wrote in a blog post. "This will impact both API and native interfaces, and will remove tags to products from previous posts. Deprecation will happen in some markets beginning August 10, 2023. After this date, some users will receive an error when attempting to tag an ineligible product, and impacted product tags on previous posts will not be returned from the API endpoint."

Separately, Meta announced that on June 5, 2023, if your Facebook page has not yet been updated to the new Pages experience, it will be updated automatically. The company says this update will not support some old features like the ability to manage and post a catalog or product details page from a Facebook Page, but notes that businesses will still be able to post links to their website.

Facebook and Instagram first rolled out Shops back in 2020 as a way for users to buy products from a business' page. The company is framing the new change as part of its efforts toward building a "seamless shopping experience" for people that also helps businesses grow.

The change indicates that Meta is doubling down on its checkout experience and focusing on being the sole checkout provider for Shops on Instagram and Facebook.