After Clubhouse’s rise to fame, every platform rushed to build a clone. But in the last year or so, the format’s popularity has faded and companies are rethinking their priorities. On Wednesday, Reddit announced that it is shutting down its live audio product Reddit Talk on March 21 — two years after its launch.
The company said that it needs to do “significant work” before incorporating audio into its platform. This essentially means that Reddit is shifting its concentration on building better search and a TikTok-style feed for video discovery. In a recent interview on the Decoder podcast, the social network chief product officer Pali Bhat said that more than 500 million people visit Reddit monthly. But the company wants to open the platform up for more people through these new features.
“Our original plan was to maintain Talk while we worked on this. Unfortunately, the 3rd party audio vendor we use for Talk is shutting down its service. In other words, the resources required to keep Talk live during this transition increased substantially,” Reddit said in a post.
Reddit Talk will be available till March 21 and users can download talks until June 1 — but only if talks were hosted after September 22. This is likely to avoid high storage costs.
With this sunset, the company is also shuttering the “Happening Now” page, which allowed users to check out 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 improved discovery and soundboard.
Reddit is not the only platform to rethink its live audio strategy. Last year, Spotify shut down a creator fund for real-time conversations and ended the production of several shows. In October, Amazon made job cuts at Amp, an app it had launched to boost live radio. Even the live audio flagbearer Clubhouse’s popularity has gone down, with the app registering just 200,000 monthly active monthly users, according to a Business Insider report published in November.