Facebook Shuts Audio Hub, Drops Podcasts

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Facebook won’t be dabbling in podcasts anymore, a report from Bloomberg said Monday (May 2).

The social media giant plans to remove podcasts altogether from the service as of June 3.

The company plans to stop letting people add new podcasts as of this week, according to a note the company sent to partners, and it will discontinue its short-form audio project Soundbites as well as remove its central audio hub.

Podcasts were announced in April of last year, when the market for podcasts and audio. But the company’s interest reportedly has not kept up. Now it is focusing on other things. Bloomberg wrote that some providers were disappointed.

One Meta spokesperson said there’s no specific date on when Soundbites and the audio hub would shut down, though it would be within the next few weeks.

Facebook also added that it doesn’t have plans to alert users to the fact that podcasts won’t be available. That will reportedly leave it up to companies to disclose the information.

See also: Meta to Launch Horizon Metaverse in 2022

PYMNTS wrote that Meta Platforms, the Facebook parent company, will be instead focusing more on things like short-form video, AI performance and putting more metaverse hardware out into the real world.

The report, coming from a recent earnings call, said Zuckerberg talked about the forthcoming Horizon metaverse and Meta Quest 2 AR and VR headgear. The company also teased metaverse products that could come later in the year.

Zuckerberg talked about the way Meta has transitioned to short-form video, which doesn’t monetize as much “for now,” but he said the company was optimistic about the future.

He said that Instagram users have been spending 20% of their screen time watching Reels videos. And half of Facebook screentime goes to video, too, while other parts of both businesses have not been as dynamic.