Clubhouse, an audio-based social network, is a new threat to social media giants like Twitter, and Facebook. Twitter is already working on its audio-based product for the last few months. Recently, there was speculation as well that Twitter tried to acquire Clubhouse but the talk could not go through.
Facebook, a social media giant, was secretly working on an audio product since the popularity of Clubhouse. The firm kept denying the fact but now, the company officially announced today that it is working on a group of audio products. The announcement shows that the social media firm is not taking Clubhouse lightly. Not only clubhouse but they are also targeting other audio platforms like Spotify. Live audio groups in Facebook, long-form audio creation, short-form audio tool Soundbites, and podcast supporting features are the major areas where Facebook is working.
Rise of Audio Networking Market
In the social media sector, Facebook is known to copy the ideas of its competitors. Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories, Plenty of WhatsApp features can explain to you how Facebook copied the ideas from its rivals. When Clubhouse was released, It became an instant hit among normal users and celebrities.
Mark Zuckerberg joined the Clubhouse to know how it works. Within a week of joining the new audio platform, media portals got the news that Facebook has started working on the Clubhouse clone. Though Facebook never revealed the news.
The current announcement by Facebook about audio products indicates the seriousness of social media giant about the audio platform.
Audio Rooms and Soundbites by Facebook
In an official blog post, Facebook said that it’s bringing a live audio room feature for its users. It will be Clubhouse like feature to allow group members to do the live audio discussions.
Talking about the live audio room feature, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said:
“I think the areas where I’m most excited about it on Facebook are basically in a large number of communities and groups that exist. I think that you already have these communities that are organized around interests, and allowing people to come together and have rooms where they can talk is — I think it’d be a very useful thing.”
He further added:
“When we launched video rooms earlier last year, groups and communities were one of the bigger areas where that took off. So, I think around audio, just given how much more accessible it is, that’ll be a pretty exciting area as well.”
He revealed this information in an interview with Platformer. At the same time, the company also did the official announcement.
As per the official announcement, live audio rooms will be available on Facebook and Messenger both. But the company will first release this feature for Facebook groups to reach 1.8 billion monthly users.
To advertise it properly, the firm has announced that public figures like American football quarterback Russell Wilson, Grammy-nominated electronic music artist TOKiMONSTA, artist and director Elle Moxley and five-time Olympic medalist and entrepreneur Nastia Liukin will join the audio featured rich rooms in the initial stage.
Talking about the official release of the audio room feature, Facebook said that it will be available for all this summer. The social media giant will also introduce live audio rooms for Messenger in the summer.
Another interesting project that Facebook announced is the short audio clips platform Soundbites. In the coming months, it will be in the testing phase where few selected creators will use it to validate the functionalities before its release. It will be a Tiktok like platform but audio-based.
Talking about Soundbites, Zuckerberg said:
“The idea here is it’s short-form audio clips, whether it’s people sharing things that they find funny… or kind of pithy things that people want to share that cover a bunch of different genres and topics.”
PodCast and Newsletter Products Announcement By Facebook
The company also working on a tool related to podcast listener and creators. Zuckerberg said that over 170 million Facebook users are interested in the podcast but they have no connectivity over Facebook. The company is planning to bring podcast features on Facebook. The firm is collaborating with Spotify to make it a success. Users can play music and podcast both with the help of this feature. Project Boombox is the name given to this project internally by Facebook.
Talking about its partnership with Facebook, Spotify Spokesperson told to TechCrunch:
“Facebook’s interest in audio is further validation of the category and reinforces what we’ve known all along — the power and potential for audio are limitless.”
Spotify further added:
“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. We look forward to a continued partnership with Facebook, fueling audio discovery around the world.”
To woo the creators, Facebook is also providing creator fund. It also had a feature of Star given by the users to creators. The firm will bring more monetization features in future.
Facebook is also working on a newsletter product to compete with Twitter new product. Zuckerberg said:
“I think a product where a journalist or a creator can basically create a subscription for people who want to follow them, that spans both a newsletter and a podcast, is going to be a really powerful thing.”
He further added:
“So that’s a big part of what we’re going to enable with some of the monetization tools around podcasts. That dovetails with the work that we’re planning to do…our work on our newsletters and giving tools for for independent journalists. I think enabling both of those things to come together on extremely favorable terms to journalists and creators, will be a pretty powerful thing.”
The latest announcements by Facebook indicates that it will disrupt the whole audio market with the new offerings. It will be interesting to see how users react to its products once launched.