Podcasting is a booming industry, but Facebook is pulling out of the congested space. The Facebook app’s parent company, Meta, announced the shutdown of podcast services. According to the corporation, the dedicated Audio Hub and Soundbites will be phased down in the “coming weeks.” According to Bloomberg (via Engadget), this would allow Meta to “concentrate on the most important experiences,” most likely alluding to the upcoming AR and VR technology. On June 3, podcasters will no longer be able to submit episodes to Facebook, and existing content will be erased.
Meanwhile, Facebook Live will combine with Live Audio Rooms, according to the firm. Less than a year ago, Facebook launched Live Audio Rooms alongside podcasts. This was one among a number of firms attempting to copy Clubhouse, including Twitter and Reddit. In any event, it’s shocking that Meta is abandoning its podcast service so soon. Perhaps the competition is simply too intense, or the corporation simply wishes to focus on other elements of its business, as stated by the company. It’s no secret that Facebook/Meta was a latecomer to the podcasting industry. When Apple, Spotify, Audible, and other services first started last year, they already had a sizable following. Meta appears to be interested in making improvements to services like Instagram Reels and Facebook’s main feed. Everything now revolves around the metaverse, including potential AR/VR gadgets.
According to rumors, Facebook will release at least two augmented reality headsets by 2024. It isn’t completely unexpected news. The audio industry was highly frothy in 2020 and 2021, with established firms like SiriusXM and Amazon buying up podcast networks, and live audio app Clubhouse being temporarily (and absurdly) valued at $4 billion. As a result, Facebook, whose owners have never encountered a technology trend they couldn’t imitate, got engaged as well. After a year of testing, the corporation appears to have arrived to the conclusion that it isn’t really worth it, thus the tape should be turned off.