Facebook shuts down its podcast service, ending other audio products

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Facebook is shutting down its podcast service on June 3, just a year after it launched. The social media giant told TechCrunch that it is also going to stop releasing short audio recordings. Sound bites feature and its Audio hub in the coming weeks. Facebook is also integrating its Live Audio Rooms offering, which is a Clubhouse clone, into its Facebook Live experience. The company says this integration will streamline the experience so that users can play audio and video, video only, or audio only.

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“After a year of research and iteration of the audio first experience, we decided to streamline our Facebook audio toolkit,” a Meta spokesperson told TechCrunch. “We are integrating Live Audio Rooms into Facebook Live and will be phasing out our other audio products. We are constantly evaluating the features we offer to focus on the most meaningful experience.”

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An email sent to podcasters on Facebook indicated that existing podcasts will remain available, with new episodes posted until June 3rd. Starting today, users will not be able to link or post new podcasts.

In April 2021 Facebook announced a suite of new audio products, including new support for podcasts and rival Clubhouse live audio, signaling the company is taking the threat from other audio platforms more seriously. Now, just a year after Facebook started doing podcasts and audio, the company is ditching them.

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Recent report from bloomberg indicates that parent company Facebook Meta say they prefer short videos projects above other initiatives, likely due to growing competition from the popular short video app TikTok. This statement can be seen in the social media giant’s email to users about podcast shutdown as it encourages them to start using Reels.

“Your voices and stories have inspired us and we remain committed to helping you reach and expand your audience,” the email reads. “For example, we’re seeing podcast-related content being developed in video, Reels, and Live to engage and grow audiences.” The email then invites users to learn more about using Reels to achieve their goals.

Facebook’s foray into audio was a competitive move a year ago when The club house was valued at $4 billion, and Spotify and Apple dominated the podcasting market. But it would take Facebook a long time to compete with Spotify and Apple, even if the company had a lot of money to spend on podcasting.

As for the live audio market, it is still dominated by Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, which continue to develop new features. Live audio has grown in popularity amid the pandemic as people around the world have been locked in their homes. But as restrictions have been lifted for the most part around the world and in-person events have returned, the hype for live audio isn’t as high as it used to be as companies move to short video.


Credit: techcrunch.com /

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