Meta to Stop Selling Consumer Versions of Its Portal Smart Displays

From PC Mag: Meta is killing the consumer version of its Portal smart display and will instead focus on marketing it as an enterprise device, according to The Information(Opens in a new window). If you want to add a Portal to your smart home setup, act fast: Meta will continue selling it until it runs out of inventory, Variety confirms(Opens in a new window).

Meta's Facebook jumped into the smart display/speaker market a little late; the Portal was introduced in 2018, four years after the debut of Amazon's Alexa-powered Echo smart speaker and two years after the launch of the Google Home (now Google Nest).

But it came at a time when trust in the social network was at an all-time low thanks in part to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. As we noted in our review of the 2019 Portal, "there is still deep suspicion of a company whose revenue is based on behaviorally targeted advertising and which has done a notoriously poor job of preventing its public News Feed from becoming overrun by false, politically radicalizing content."

The pandemic was a boon for smart displays, as people shifted to video-based get-togethers in quarantine. But it apparently wasn't enough for Portal to compete against Google and Amazon for space in people's living rooms and kitchens. Instead, Meta will reportedly focus on hybrid workers who are still working from home and dialing into video conferences. As Variety notes, "the Meta Portal gained traction among businesses looking to enable better collaboration among at-home workers during the COVID pandemic."

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