After Clubhouse became famous, every platform rushed to build a clone. But in the past year or so, the format’s popularity has faded and companies are rethinking their priorities. On Wednesday, Reddit announced that it is discontinuing its live audio product Reddit Talk on March 21 – two years after its launch.
The company said it needs to do “considerable work” before incorporating audio into its platform. Essentially, this means that Reddit is shifting its focus to building a better search and TikTok-like video discovery feed. In a recent interview on the Decoder podcast, the social network’s chief product officer, Bali Bhat, said that more than 500 million people visit Reddit every month. But the company wants to open up the platform to more people with these new features.
“Our original plan was to keep Talk while we worked on this. Unfortunately, the third-party audio provider we use for Talk is discontinuing service. In other words, the resources required to keep Talk live during this transition have increased significantly,” Reddit said in a post.
Reddit Talk is available until March 21, and users can download talks until June 1 — but only if talks are hosted after September 22. This probably prevents high storage costs.
With this sunset, the company is also closing the “Happening Now” page, which allowed users to view active real-time conversations.
The social network first launched Reddit Talk in April 2021. Last year, it launched a web version of the product and even introduced features like enhanced discovery and soundboard.
Reddit isn’t the only platform rethinking its live audio strategy. Last year, Spotify closed a real-time conversation maker fund and ended production on several shows. In October, Amazon cut jobs at Amp, an app it launched to boost live radio. Even the live audio standard-bearer Clubhouse has declined in popularity, with the app recording just 200,000 monthly active monthly users, according to a Business Insider report published in November.