Facebook loses its podcast platform before we even knew it was a thing
Get ready for today’s most shocking tech news: Facebook is shutting down its podcast platform.
That’s right, Facebook had a podcast platform – can you believe it? Well, that doesn’t matter because – barely a year after its inception – Facebook’s Audio Hub is following in the path of the dinosaurs.
This means that Facebook will no longer have a space dedicated to audio-only content. Talk to Bloomberg – a spokesperson for Meta didn’t reveal exactly when the audio hub will close, but explained that the ability to upload new podcasts will likely end this week.
Also, its audio rooms will be shut down, but not quite for good. Instead, this Twitter Spaces-like feature will be integrated into its Facebook Live service. When going live, users will soon have the option to stream video and audio or be audio only.
If you’re one of the 10 people who knew Facebook podcasts were something you might want to listen to while you still can. Meanwhile, the creators among you will want to look into other podcast hosting platforms and save your Facebook-exclusive content before it’s lost in the void.
Analysis: Not really a shock
If the most startling piece of information that comes from news about a platform shutting down is that it even existed in the first place, it’s no shock that it’s shutting down.
When Facebook’s Audio Hub launched, it came at the wrong time. Last April, most of us were tired of staying indoors and ingesting digital entertainment. For those who weren’t so fed up, there was no reason to switch to a new podcast service.
Most people already have a podcast platform that brings together all the shows they love, whether it’s Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Audible, YouTube, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, or one of the many others. Additionally, Facebook had no response to the exclusive deals that rivals like Spotify had signed with creators (like Spotify’s exclusive deal with Joe Rogan formed in 2020).
With listeners having no reason to use the service, there was little reason for creators to go to the effort of uploading content to it, creating a self-fulfilling spiral that caused Audio Hub to shut down.
On top of that, we can’t ignore the metaverse elephant in the room. Over the past few months, Meta (owner of Facebook) and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg have been completely engrossed in their vision for a virtual reality/mixed reality future.
But their efforts can only be concentrated on a limited number of tasks at a time. Facebook’s Audio Hub is not only a struggling platform, but also one that cannot be developed into as immersive a service as a video platform, making it an easy pick to drop. .
As Meta focuses more on VR content and hardware (it reportedly has four headsets in the works), other services will lose support. Luckily, this only affects features that very few of us care about or even knew about, but over time who knows if that will change.
Like it or not, Meta is all-in on the Metaverse – so expect a few of its extra services to fold while you wait to find out if its gamble pays off.