Reddit is shutting down its clubhouse clone Reddit Talk. The live audio chat service will be retired after March 21, about a month before its second birthday. Users can download their talks until June 1st.
Reddit Talk debuted in April 2021 following the meteoric rise of social audio app Clubhouse during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s one of many similar services launched alongside Twitter’s Spaces at the time amid a newfound enthusiasm for audio-based social networking. But as the pandemic eased, travel restrictions were lifted and people were able to physically meet and talk again. As such, the social audio craze gradually subsided.
However, Reddit isn’t shutting down Talk because of its waning popularity. Instead, the company finds it difficult to maintain service. “The short-term support of Talk requires significant resources – more than we anticipated,” reads an official statement. Reddit added that the third-party audio provider that ran Reddit Talk itself is closing up shop. This aggravated the situation and forced a shutdown of the live audio product.
However, the company plans to bring back Talk or a similar audio service in the future. “Reddit’s goal is to become the de facto home for communities. Audio, like talk, has a place in it,” Reddit said in a post Wednesday. Originally, the plan was to develop the audio product alongside other improvements to the platform, such as “making Reddit easier and building a better subreddit infrastructure.”
But with its audio partner shutting down its service, Reddit is finding it difficult to allocate enough resources to keep Talk alive while it’s working on other parts of the platform. “The resources required to keep Talk alive during this transition have increased significantly,” it said. The company doesn’t currently have a timeline for its plans for an audio product.
Reddit Talks hosted after September 1, 2022 are downloadable
While Reddit Talk has been around since April 2021, users can only download talks hosted after September 1, 2022. The company says “that was when we implemented a new user flow that expanded Talks’ potential use case.” Downloads will be available March 21st through June 1st. Reddit says it will share more later this month on how to download Talks before the deadline.
“We know this isn’t the update you’ve all been looking for. We strongly believe in the future endeavors we are working on and would love to continue working with all of you to explore potential future experiences for those who are open to it,” Reddit said.
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March 10, 2023