Facebook is reportedly scaling back its podcasting plans
In April last year, Facebook announced several new audio features, including audio chat rooms, podcasts, and sound bites to take on Clubhouse and Spotify. But it looks like the company is quickly losing interest in the audio initiative, a new report claims.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook is scaling back on its push for podcasts and other audio experiences as it seeks to prioritize other initiatives with its podcast partners. In its conversations with podcasters and creators, the company is now emphasizing a pivot towards holding events in the metaverse and online shopping, as per industry executives who work with the platform.
In addition to the metaverse, the report notes that Facebook’s parent company Meta Inc. is also turning its attention to short-form video projects. Facebook has struggled to attract young users to its platform in recent years. The company reported the first-ever decline in daily active users in Q4 2021 in the face of increased regulatory and public scrutiny and intense competition from TikTok and Snapchat.
A Facebook spokesperson told Bloomberg that the company is still working on podcasts, indicating that the company may not entirely give up on podcasts and other audio features. The spokesperson also revealed that the company is seeing good engagement for its audio products though declined to provide specific stats.
Facebook’s entry into the audio space was a competitive move as it sought to take on Clubhouse, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts. Bloomberg notes that Facebook even explored starting a training program to bring more creators to its platform. The program involved training 15 or more podcasters from diverse backgrounds on how to leverage Facebook’s podcast platform to create their shows. However, the plan never materialized.
Facebook had also teamed up with several prominent public figures and creators such as TOKiMOSTA, Russell Wilson, Kehlani, Reggie Watts, and more when it rolled out Live Audio Rooms.