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Facebook giving up on podcasts after a year

Facebook is getting out of producing podcasts altogether after just a year.

As reported by Bloomberg, the social network will remove podcasts altogether from June 3.

The company’s short-form audio product Soundbites and its central audio hub will be shut down over the coming weeks. Meanwhile podcast producers will no longer be able to add new podcasts to the service from this week.

Live Audio Rooms will now simply be integrated into Facebook Live, with the option being given to go live with just audio or both audio and video.

The company has said that it won’t be announcing the shuttering of its podcast department to customers, but will leave that to publishers. “We’re constantly evaluating the features we offer so we can focus on the most meaningful experiences,” said a spokesperson.

Elsewhere, Facebook spokesperson Adelaide Coronado told The Verge that these changes represented an attempt by the company to “simplify” its audio offerings.

Facebook’s shift towards the metaverse, as evidenced by the rebranding of its parent company to Meta in late 2021, evidently represented a shift in priorities for the company.

It’s also been focusing more of its resources on heading off the threat from TikTok. It recently emerged that Meta’s Reels short-form video effort now represented more than 20% of the time spent on Instagram.

Evidently Meta and Facebook are now happy to leave the whole podcasts business to Spotify, Clubhouse and co.

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