Meta has revealed that it will no longer be selling its troubled Portal video devices to consumers, and is moving instead to focus on business customers.
A report from The Information revealed that the devices, which first launched in 2018 as part of a push to widen the Facebook parent company’s hardware portfolio, will now pivot to focus on enterprise use cases such as video conferencing.
Portal did originally launch as a push to help connect Facebook users around the world, but raised eyebrows with some questionable privacy decisions, meaning many consumers stayed away.
Portal to business success?
Five Portal models can currently be found online, starting with the more portable Portal Go at $199, alongside the Portal Mini ($129), the original Portal ($179), Portal TV ($149), and the top of the range Portal Plus ($349).
The Information notes that Portal accounted for less than 1% of the global smart speaker and display market in 2021, with analyst firm IDC estimating that 800,000 devices were shipped last year.
It adds that Meta will now look to clear its remaining consumer Portal inventory before moving to focus on business customers only, although existing users will still be able to rely on continued product support for the time being.
> Microsoft Teams update will help you nail one of the most stressful tasks at work
> Google Meet is set to make classroom life more engaging than ever
> Google Meet is taking over all your video calls
It remains to be seen exactly what approach Meta will take in transforming Portal into a business device, and whether it will announce any new releases.
There is potential for the existing line of devices to be a useful addition to offices, with the Portal and Portal Mini possibly acting as hubs to book meeting rooms or start ad hoc video calls from a quiet spot.
The webcam-esque Portal TV could also have a role to play for businesses looking to up their video call game, offering a low-cost way to turn television screens or other displays into a video chat hub.
- Up your video calling game with the best business webcams around
Via The Information