Reddit has announced that it’ll be shutting down Reddit Talk, its live audio conversation feature, on March 21st. In an announcement post, the company says it made the decision because “supporting Talk in the short-term requires significant resourcing - more than we anticipated.” The company will also be shutting down its “Happening Now” page, which exists to help you find active Talks and Live Chats.
Talk was announced in April 2021, a time when audio chatroom app Clubhouse seemed like a big deal and other social networks were rushing to copy its features. The reason why it’s being sunsetted now is apparently that the third party audio vendor Reddit used for the service is also shutting down. According to its post, the company doesn’t want to deal with that while it’s also trying to simplify its core platform and improve infrastructure, an effort that chief product officer Pali Bhat just discussed on Decoder.
Starting March 21st, users will be able to download archives of Talks that were hosted after September 1st, 2022, and they’ll have until June 1st to do so. The company says there’ll be more details about downloading closer to the shutdown date.
While Reddit does say that audio has a place in its goal to “become the de facto home for communities,” it isn’t providing any sort of timeline on when audio features or even Talk itself will make a reappearance.
The shutdown news comes as Reddit is launching other features to help compete with video platforms like TikTok. That includes working on separate video and text feeds, which let people focus on one form of content.