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Facebook testing 'QVC-like' live video streams

Joseph Archer
The feature allows businesses to display and model their items through a live stream - AP

Facebook is setting up a “QVC-like” video streaming service that would allow companies to showcase products like they do on TV shopping channels.

The feature, which is being trialed in Thailand, allows businesses to display and model their items through a live stream, as well as take reservations from buyers and request payments through the Messenger app.

While watching the live product demos, users can tell the seller what item they want to purchase by sending the merchant a screenshot of the product from the stream.

If the trial goes well the US tech giant could introduce the tool to other countries and regions.

Currently in the trial, the Thai businesses run the live streams from their Facebook Pages. Users will be able to interact with the sellers during the streams to ask questions about the products, and merchants can instantly give them answers in response.

The feature was first spotted by Jeff Higgins, and confirmed by TechCrunch.  Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The trial began in Thailand because users in the country told the US social media company that its established live streaming feature helped sellers display their items more effectively, compared to just using still photos.   

Facebook had launched a Marketplace feature in 2016 that allows people to sell and buy products in groups of other users.

News of the trial comes just days after documents, showing emails from between 2012 and 2013, revealed that Facebook cut off data access to rival companies which it saw as threatening its business model.

Facebook said the documents were presented in a "very misleading manner".