Facebook Cuts Podcasts After Less Than a Year

The company is reportedly trying to "simplify" its audio portfolio.

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A sign for Facebook HQ, featuring a thumbs up and the company's address.
The social media website began dabbling in audio services last year, only to discontinue them in the coming months
Photo: Stephen Lam (Getty Images)

Facebook will begin shutting down its podcast service this week, less than a year after its launch last June, with a permanent closure date of June 3. This, according to Bloomberg.

Facebook launched its podcast hosting service in June of last year, which allowed creators to upload their podcasts directly to Facebook. Listeners could access them by using a “Podcasts” tab, The Verge stated in an article last summer. Podcast integration was only one part of a larger rollout of audio services Facebook began to release in 2021. Along with podcasts, the company simultaneously announced two other audio services, that they combined with podcasts into an audio hub.

The short-form audio service called Soundbites (a Clubhouse competitor) allowed users to create short audio clips, and Live Audio Rooms. Facebook gave users a very low-key heads up that Soundbites would be unavailable after April 28, 2022 in a note on their Meta Business Help Center. Their note comes as reports from Bloomberg and PC Magazine say the service would be shutdown in the coming weeks (as of May 3, 2022 I am still able to access and create Soundbites on the Facebook mobile app). Bloomberg further reported that Live Audio Rooms will be integrated into Facebook Live.

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Podcasts will officially be removed from Facebook on June 3, and while they didn’t quite stick, Facebook’s foray into podcasting was not without precedent. The Verge argues that the 2020-2021 podcast market was highly competitive as key players like Amazon and Sirius XM began acquiring lucrative podcast properties. That interest in the digital audio space began to fade last month, Bloomberg reported citing industry executives, with vigor replaced by other business ventures involving the Metaverse and commerce.