Is Facebook joining the audio race?

On Monday, the social network announces that are in the process of creating new audio-focused products that involve virtual rooms where the user can host the live discussion along with the feature called the “soundbites”. This will permit the user in posting shorter audio snippets in their feed which can be photos or videos as per Fidji Simo who is the head of the Menlo Park, California-based company.

Soon, Facebook will also be creating a podcast feature that the users can download as well as listen to their podcasts directly from their main app. This will help the company to get a chance to compete with the existing players like Apple Inc. Recode has reported almost earlier on Facebook’s plan.

Simo said that at the time of the pandemic, “we have seen a massive rise of audio experiences” This involves the increase in voice calls and audio messages on Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp that will spur the company for building the new products.

However, Audio has now become one of the most important aspects to which many people stuck at home at the time of the pandemic. Well, Clubhouse that permits the users in hosting the live audio discussion has been one of the biggest in Silicon Valley and is just raised money which was around $4 billion valuations as soon as Twitter tried to buy the startup around the same price. Simo said, “Clubhouse has done something phenomenal. I’ve been working at Facebook for ten years so I know how hard it is to create a new social format.”

However, Twitter is even pushing aggressively into the audio. Now, it has a Clubhouse competitor called Twitter Spaces which might exists within its app and has launched an equal to Facebook’s soundbites product which is called voice tweets in the last summer. Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn and Slack Technologies Inc. are now working on audio rooms competitors.

However, U.S. lawmakers have now accused Facebook of copying competitors and the company is under antitrust investigations from the state and federal regulators.

Smio mentioned that Facebook is currently trying to put its own spin on these products. On Clubhouse and Twitter for example audio rooms are ephemeral and disappear after a room is closed. However, on Facebook, the user will get the opportunity to save their room discussions and allow people to download them as a podcast. Facebook now makes use of artificial intelligence technology will eventually recommend the most popular parts of a live discussion which will be shared as soundbites.

Soon, Facebook will be enabling tipping in audio which is a way to help the content builders gain money from their fans, something which the company has done in the past with live videos. Notably, these products are yet weeks if it not months away. Well, Facebook mentioned its hope is to launch its live rooms product in the summer season.

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