Facebook Shuts Audio Hub, Drops Podcasts

Facebook won’t be dabbling in podcasts anymore. The social media giant plans to remove podcasts altogether from the service on June 3.

According to a note the company sent to partners, the company plans to stop letting people add new podcasts as of this week. In addition, it will discontinue its short-form audio project, Soundbites, and 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. So now it is focusing on other things. Bloomberg wrote that some providers were disappointed.

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

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

PYMNTS wrote that Meta Platforms, the Facebook parent company, will instead focus 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 how 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 had spent 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.

A podcast is a schedule made available in digital structure for download over the Internet. A serialized string of digital audio or video files that a user can download to a unique device to listen to at a time of their choice.

Streaming applications and podcasting services furnish an opportunely and integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices. There also exist podcast search engines, which help users find and share podcast episodes.

A podcast string usually features one or more recurring hosts discussing a particular topic or current event. Discussion and content within a podcast can vary from carefully scripted to entirely improvised. It combines elaborate and artistic sound production with thematic concerns ranging from scientific research to slice-of-life journalism.

In addition, many podcast series provides an associated website with links and display notes, guest biographies, transcripts, additional resources, commentary, and even a community forum dedicated to discussing the show’s content.