The Clubhouse audio-only public forum/discussion platform is the hottest social media trend of the year, and Facebook doesn’t want to be left out. The social network announced a number of audio features, including a podcasting platform, “Soundbites” audio creation tools for short audio content, and “Live Audio Rooms” for joining club-like chats.
These features will be promoted to everyone who uses Facebook and Facebook Messenger before the summer. The company decided to start with the group because it can attract 1.8 billion people who are already heavily involved in community activities, allowing them to be the first to benefit from this feature.
The company also released some public figures, such as quarterback Russell Wilson (Russell Wilson), musical artist TOKiMONSTA, director Elle Moxley, and Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin. Everyone can see it. There are also options to send emojis, raise your hand to participate in discussions, and share conversations with others. The public will also be able to monetize discussions via the so-called star emoji known on Facebook’s live video feed.
Facebook also introduced Podcasts to its platform. You can watch the episode directly from the Facebook page of your favorite creator “in the coming months”, so you will not have to leave the social network to listen to it. Of course, Facebook plans to use its algorithm to recommend new content that you would still like to listen to so that it can be blocked even more.
Then there are Soundbites, which Facebook describes as “short, creative audio clips to capture anecdotes, jokes, inspirational moments, poems, and lots of other things we haven’t thought of yet,” basically stories, but just audio. Like the audio room, this feature will initially be limited to a few content creators, who will try to use different concepts to design new formats. In order to make it easier for everyone to create these Soundbites, the company also introduced a new set of audio technologies that can help convert speech to text, distort speech, and improve audio quality through AI.
Facebook’s biggest attempt at audio content to date. Obviously, these features are designed to compete with Clubhouse and, to some extent, Spotify (by promoting competition for exclusive podcasts). Facebook is known for outright buying successful competitors (WhatsApp, Instagram) or copying their core features to make them irrelevant (Snapchat), and the company appears to be trying again to prevent its newer competitors from taking hold.