Facebook To Launch Social Audio Products To Compete With Clubhouse

Facebook To Launch Social Audio Products To Compete With ClubhouseCo-founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg (Photo by Arun Sharma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview with journalist Casey Newton that the company wants to treat audio as a first-class medium in the way it treats photos and video contents.

The social media giant Facebook, which has long dominated much of our screen time, has now decided to introduce a series of products under the umbrella of "social audio" to help it compete with Clubhouse.

The new set of audio features include audio-only “rooms” for live chats, “soundbites” for sharing short voice messages and a new feature for podcasting.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on 19 April in an interview with journalist Casey Newton on another Discord, that the company wants to treat audio as a first-class medium in the way it treats photos and video contents.

Even though these features are yet to be launched, the audio rooms will be available by this summer, said Facebook.

The Road Map Ahead

As reported, the company is now working on Live Audio Rooms, which will be tested in Facebook groups.

Among other audio tools, the "room" is the most similar to Clubhouse and it will allow users to take part in live chats on both Facebook and Messenger.

Facebook is also working on “soundbites” through which users would be able to post short audio clips in News Feed.

This will have the ability to add special effects, transcriptions and other helpful features.

The company will also launch a podcasting feature that will allow users to browse, download and listen to podcasts directly from the Facebook app.

The users will be able to listen to the audio while the app is open, as well as when it is “backgrounded.”

As per The Verge, Zuckerberg said that “soundbites” are a new format for short-form of creative audio that will appear across Facebook’s suite of the podcast and it will let the users change the sound via filters, as well as other effects.

The social media platform is also aiming to become a home for long-form audio as well.

The extended partnership with Spotify will help bring Facebook’s audio player to the app while allowing users to listen to both music and podcasts, said Zuckerberg.

He also added that the participants of Clubhouse-style live audio rooms will be able to tip content creators with Facebook’s digital currency, Stars.

While talking about whether Facebook audio would be more likely to benefit individual creators than big publishers, the CEO said: “A big part of the creative economy is that it’s enabling individuals, and shifting power from some traditional institutions to individuals to exercise their own creativity. And I think that that’s a positive trend in the world.”

According to Zuckerberg, Facebook audio will allow creating a lot of new contents.

“I think based on that, your prediction that this is likely to work better maybe for individual creators or small groups — I could see that playing out for sure,” he added.

But the social media giant is far from being the one and the only platform experimenting with such audio tools.

It is because Reddit has also announced its own Clubhouse-like product on 19 April named “Reddit Talk”, while Twitter has been testing audio-only Spaces for months.


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