Facebook to abandon podcasts in favor of the metaverse

Facebook to abandon podcasts in favor of the metaverse
Starting June 3rd, Facebook will cease to offer support for podcasts on its platform. As soon as this week, users will no longer be able to upload new content, while Soundbites and the central audio hub will be fully discontinued shortly afterwards.

As Bloomberg reports, this decision has come to light through a note Facebook shared with its partners. The same document also states that Facebook has no intention of officially alerting users of this move, leaving it up to content creators to do so in its stead.

Subsequently, a Meta spokesperson confirmed all of this information before Bloomberg and reaffirmed the company’s long-term plan to “focus on the most meaningful experience”. For the time being, this seems to be Reels (Meta’s answer to the success of TikTok) and the still rather cryptic metaverse.

Almost one year ago, Facebook made the move to enter the (somewhat crowded) podcast market via a plethora of new audio services. It seems this ambition has been short-lived.

After the initial lukewarm reception of the new services and the subsequent stagnation, Facebook has decided to give up on podcasts altogether.

The truth is that Facebook simply could not compete with the likes of Spotify and Apple Podcasts without going the extra mile. Both of the latter services have made concrete efforts over the years to solidify their position in the market.

For example, they have implemented new features, created new ways of exploring podcasts (like Apple Podcasts’s Spotlight editorial franchise) and encouraged creators to produce exclusive content for their respective platforms.

In stark contrast to this, Facebook instead decided to merely rely on their already established brand name - by all means a huge asset, but, ultimately, not enough. With Facebook gone, Apple and Spotify will reign supreme and will be sure to consolidate their dominant position on the podcast market, this time for good.
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