The company isn’t finished with audio space yet, and today revealed a slew of new features for the social network that will give users and creators new ways to create and share audio experiences.
The bottom line is that Facebook wants to increase the amount of audio in your News Feed. For one thing, the company is gradually rolling out a feature known as Soundbites, which it defines as “short-form, imaginative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, jokes, moments of inspiration, poems, and many other things we haven’t yet imagined.”
With the ability to incorporate special effects, transcriptions, and other creator-friendly features, Soundbites tends to be more than just simple audio clips. Finally, Facebook is developing a podcasting feature that will enable users to search for, download, and listen to podcasts directly from the Facebook app. Audio will be available to users both when the app is open and when it is “backgrounded.”
Live Audio Rooms is the most similar to Clubhouse among the new audio tools. Users will be able to engage in live Facebook and Messenger talks. The feature will be tested inside groups and with a community of public figures so they can “share ideas with new audiences and create a forum for discussion, without the added pressure of being on camera,” according to the company.
It sounds a lot like the short voice clips you can share with friends on WhatsApp and Messenger, but with a more public, shareable focus. Until being widely accessible, Soundbites will be rolled out to a “small number of creators” over the next few months.
If you prefer long-form audio, Facebook has also revealed that you will be able to listen to podcasts directly inside the app in the coming months. It will make recommendations based on your preferences, and you will be able to share and comment on them just like any other social media material.
Notably, all of Facebook’s latest audio features will have monetization features. It intends to include tipping capabilities, as well as the potential for developers to charge for access to rooms. It’s also setting up a fund to compensate influencers for soundbites.
Automated captions, translations, and AI-powered noise cancellation technology are among the tools the company is developing to make these audio experiences simpler, more enjoyable, and more usable. You will be able to use music from the company’s sound library, as well as a range of sound effects and speech filters.
WhatsApp and Messenger will soon be able to send “sound effects like crickets chirping to quotes from popular songs,” according to the company.
Facebook isn’t the only social media site that’s playing with social audio. Twitter has been testing audio-only Spaces for months, and Reddit has just unveiled Reddit Talk, its own version of the feature.
Last year, Mr Zuckerberg admitted to copying competitors, saying that Facebook “certainly adapted features that others have led in.”
Critics claim that Big Tech’s “borrowing” of innovations from smaller firms can stiffle competition.