Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg announced its plans to push into audio on Monday, April 19, 2021. The range of audio products that the social networking giant aims to venture into seeks to compete against the likes of Clubhouse and Twitter.
In a statement by Zuckerberg to Casey Newton from the Sidechannel Discord server, CNBC reveals the chief executive said, “We think that audio is of course also going to a first-class medium, and there are all these different products to be built across this whole spectrum.”
According to Bloomberg, the range of audio products that Facebook will be doubling down on include virtual rooms to provide spaces for content creators to host a live discussion. In addition, the social media giant will also create ‘Soundbites,’ a feature that allows users to post short-form audio clips and to create sound effects.
Soundbites will be tested with select content creators. These include the likes of Drew Lynch, Lolo Spencer, Tobe Nwige, Molly Burge, and Josh Sundquist, reports Variety.
In its blog post, Facebook said that it would start testing its live audio rooms, which are slated to launch by the summer of 2021. Here, Reuters states users can support personalities and other content creators financially by sending them ‘Stars.’
Apart from the aforementioned audio products, Facebook is also gearing up to take the podcasting world by storm by connecting its system with Spotify. Through its partnership with the music streaming app, the social networking giant will be launching ‘Project Boombox,’ allowing users to listen to and share music via its platform, reports Reuters.
As of writing, Facebook said in its blog post that over 170 million individuals have connected to podcast pages, while 35 million people belong to groups surrounding podcasts. With the integration with Spotify, podcasts can now be accessed through Facebook without leaving the app.
In a statement to Variety, a representative from Spotify said, “Our ambition has always been to make Spotify ubiquitous across platforms and devices – bringing music and podcasts to more people – and our new integration with Facebook is another step in these efforts.”
What makes these audio products different from the rest, notes Bloomberg, is that users who participate in live rooms and discussions can still save their engagement and discussion as a podcast.
The artificial intelligence technology leveraged by Facebook, on the other hand, will reportedly give way to interesting and popular parts of a discussion being recommended and shared as a soundbite, states Bloomberg.
Many of these audio products are still underway, with a projected launch of weeks or months, reveals Bloomberg.