Online stores on Facebook & Instagram

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Around 1 million businesses in the UK and around the world can now set up a free online store to sell products on Facebook and Instagram.

The initial stage of the ‘Facebook Shops’ roll out has been brought forward because of the coronavirus pandemic. The stores will appear on business pages, Instagram profiles and through targeted ads.

“It’s bigger than usual just because we want to make sure we’re moving quickly to get these tools in the hands of as many businesses wherever they are, big or small, to help them survive during this time,” Facebook’s Layla Amjadi told the BBC.

And product manager George Lee said it had been in the pipeline for at least half a year.

“Obviously, given the current situation, we have accelerated a lot of our efforts,” he said. “We’re in a unique position to be able to contribute to the survival of a bunch of these businesses.”

The shopping feature will also eventually appear on WhatsApp and the company’s other messaging apps and integrate with live streams.

For the average Facebook user, “this will be a really seamless experience,” Amjadi added. “You can go much deeper now without having to leave the app.”


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