Last April, Facebook introduced several audio features, including podcasts and audio chat rooms. A new report says that the company seems to be losing interest in the audio initiative.
Bloomberg reports that Facebook is reducing its focus on podcasts and audio experiences to prioritize other initiatives with podcast partners. According to industry executives working with the platform, the company has been focusing on a pivot towards hosting events in the metaverse and online shopping.
Facebook has had difficulty attracting young users to its platform in recent years. In response to increased regulatory scrutiny and intense competition from Snapchat and TikTok, the company reported the first-ever decline in daily active users in Q4 20201. The report also mentions that Meta Inc., Facebook’s parent company, is now focusing its attention on short-form video projects.
A Facebook spokesperson stated to Bloomberg the company is still working with podcasts. Although the spokesperson confirmed that they saw high engagement for their audio products, she declined to give specific statistics. This suggests that podcasts may not be abandoned completely.
Facebook’s entry into the audio space was competitive as it tried to compete with Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Clubhouse. Bloomberg mentions that Facebook considered launching a training program to attract more creators to its platform. It would have involved 15 to 20 podcasters with diverse backgrounds learning how to use Facebook’s podcast platform to make their podcasts. The plan was never realized.
Facebook also partnered with many prominent creators and public figures, such as Kehlani and Russell Wilson, to create Live Audio Rooms.