Meta would end Portal products and cancel upcoming smartwatches
It looks like Meta’s Portal products are going away for good, and that could apply to its unreleased smartwatches as well.
Portal debuted in 2018, and since then Meta has introduced new models, with its latest, the Portal Go, arriving last year. For the most part, the devices failed to gain traction, with the majority of complaints related to privacy concerns. There is also strong competition from Amazon with its echo devices. But, apparently, after trying for five years, Meta is finally going to throw in the towel on its Portal project, with no immediate future plans to produce new material.
The news comes from Reuters Passing by The edge, which reports that the company is completely halting sales of its Portal hardware. The writing seems to have been on the wall for some time, with very little noise about the products and its strategy to move from consumers to professional customers in the middle of last year. As things slowly return to normal, businesses are hurting left and right. Unfortunately, that means companies have had to tighten their belts, with Meta dealing a heavy blow this week, announcing it would lay off 11,000 employees.
In addition to his layoffs, internal reports showed he would also cut funding for some projects, including Portal. In addition to the portal, Reuters also shared that Meta is also halting its progress on two of its smartwatches. For the most part, we probably won’t miss these devices too much, and to be honest, I had completely forgotten about them until this report.
If you’re not familiar with Portal, the great feature of these devices was that they allowed people to communicate using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. It could also act as a smart home hub with help from Amazon’s Alexa. Video call quality was very good, thanks to its cameras, and if you felt the camera was a bit too much, you can always cover it with the built-in slider. While initial reviews were good, most raised concerns about privacy, which I believe was the culprit that likely led to poor sales.
Meta has yet to publicly comment on this, so for now, there might be a chance that Portal will keep moving forward. But if I were you I wouldn’t go out and buy a brand new one anytime soon and instead find another more reliable smart home product during the first Black Friday sales.
Going through: The edge