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Facebook Is Shutting Down Its Podcast Service Next Month

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Podcasts are a growing business, but Facebook is now backing out of the crowded segment. Its parent company, Meta, announced the closure of podcast services within the Facebook app. The dedicated Audio Hub and Soundbites are also reaching end-of-life status over the “coming weeks,” as per the company.

A spokesperson for Meta told Bloomberg (via Engadget) that this would allow the company to “focus on the most meaningful experiences,” likely referring to AR and VR hardware in the pipeline. Podcasters will no longer be able to submit shows on Facebook, while content will be removed on June 3.

The company’s Clubhouse clone will merge into Facebook Live

Meanwhile, Live Audio Rooms will merge with Facebook Live, the company said. Live Audio Rooms debuted alongside podcasts on Facebook less than a year ago. This was part of a series of companies trying to replicate Clubhouse, including the likes of Twitter and Reddit. In any case, it’s somewhat surprising that Meta is giving up on its podcast service this early. Perhaps the competition is simply too much, or as the company says, it wants to focus on other aspects of its business.

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It’s no secret that Facebook/Meta was relatively late to enter the business of podcasts. The service launched last year, when the likes of Apple, Spotify, Audible, etc, had already developed a decent following.

The first of Meta’s VR headsets could arrive this year

Meta appears to be actively interested in improving services like Instagram Reels and the Facebook main feed. Of course, everything revolves around the metaverse now, including upcoming AR/VR hardware. Rumors say the social media giant will unveil at least two AR headsets by 2024.

Another report this week told us that Meta could reveal two high-end VR headsets by 2024. The first of them, known internally as Project Cambria, will launch later this year. While a September release timeframe is rumored, Meta hasn’t confirmed this yet. The successor to Cambria (Funston) will reportedly arrive in 2024, featuring top-shelf hardware and features.

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A challenge for Meta will be to have enough VR and AR devices in the market to overshadow any potential competition. We expect to learn more about the Cambria (Meta Quest Pro) over the next few months. The headset will reportedly hit retailer shelves later this year, while the unveiling will likely take place in September.