Meta takes aim at Shopify with leaked shopping plans

Meta has got big plans to take on its ‘frenemy’ Shopify as it aims to get more users to do shopping through its platform.

Facebook’s parent company is changing its direction to focus on selling more products directly through its already existing apps Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, according to leaked documents seen by Business Insider.

Meta’s vision is to control a plethora of apps that are “a primary destination for commerce,” Meta Ads and Business Platform vice president Dan Levy wrote.

The company’s newfound priorities come at the expense of commerce in the metaverse or growing offsite partnerships, the document, which was called ‘Commerce Guidance and Priorities for 2022’ read.

This means that Meta will focus on selling through digital storefronts on its already existing apps such as Facebook Shops and Instagram.

“This is our highest priority and largest investment area,” Levy wrote.

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“We need to make progress against our vision of our apps being a primary destination for commerce.”

Meta, formerly Facebook, started experimenting with ecommerce capabilities since 2015, when it introduced ‘Buy and Sell’ groups on to the Facebook platform.

In 2020 the company introduced digital storefronts to its flagship apps Facebook and Instagram as its advertising division took a big hit.

The plans did not reveal which payment methods Meta will offer through its storefronts however its expected that there will be an emphasis on on-site sales that could end up diverting business away from Shopify, which an insider referred to as Meta’s “frenemy”.

“Shopify is a frenemy to Meta, but that’s putting it generously because Shopify is way ahead of everybody in commerce,” the insider told Business Insider.

The documents revealed Meta wants to extend what Levy referred to as “strong existing buyer activity” on Facebook Marketplace.

“Our offsite ecosystem remains critically important, not least because we will have US offsite sellers that decide never to upgrade to onsite and a large international presence of offsite Shops for quite some time,” Levy added.

“That said, we are explicitly not prioritizing work aimed at growing our offsite ecosystem.”

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