Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder, Facebook Inc.

Facebook announces “Live Audio Rooms”, “Soundbites” and “Spotify partnership”

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and Founder, Facebook Inc.
Source: Vox

The much-awaited Facebook’s “social audio” products have recently been introduced on Monday and boy, the company is seeing some great potential in the future of audio on the platform. The company has just announced multiple audio-based products that seem to excite quite a lot of users, especially people who love to multi-task. I will explain!

“Live Audio Rooms”- Facebook’s new Clubhouse competitor:

Since the speculations started to float about the company’s social audio products announcement on Monday, there have been reports that Facebook was launching a Clubhouse competitor and guess what, the company has indeed launched a feature called “Live Audio Rooms” which works in a similar fashion to the popular, year-old, invite-only social audio platform- Clubhouse.

According to the company’s announcement, the Live Audio Rooms feature will be available to all users by this summer. Rooms or Facebook Messenger Rooms is a feature launched by the company last year which enables seamless video conferencing in the Messenger application with up to 50 people at one time. The social media conglomerate recently launched “Live Audio Rooms” which is an audio-only feature and will eventually make its way to Facebook Messenger, according to sources. As revealed during the announcement, Live Audio Rooms will enable users to record their conversations and then distribute them on the social media platform. Users will also have an option to charge for access to these Live Audio Rooms through either a one-time fee or subscription-based model, as mentioned in a report by The Verge.

Facebook to introduce an “Audio Creator Fund”:

The social media conglomerate has also announced to soon introduce an Audio Creator Fund in order to promote its new “Live Audio Rooms” feature. Facebook Inc. plans to support emerging audio creators with its new platform and according to multiple reports, the company might pay some consideration to top audio creators on the platform with this new-found fund. This will definitely get users to join the new platform and create some great content for its users.

Source: Remarkboard

Facebook’s “Soundbites”: Short audio clips

The company allows audio content creators to turn all of their “Live Audio Rooms” conversations into short audio clips called “Soundbites”. This is a forthcoming feature introduced by Facebook that will enable audio creators to create short audio clips from ‘Live Audio Rooms’ conversations and share them on their feed for promotion. Soundbites can also be called a short teaser for your Live Audio Rooms in order to attract listeners. As mentioned in a report by The Verge, Facebook Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mark Zuckerberg explained Soundbites in comparison to Reels but for audio-only. The company also describes this new feature as a personal “sound studio in your pocket”. As reported, Soundbites will be available for recording through a separate tool within the main Facebook application.

Facebook in partnership with Spotify?

Yes! You read that right. Mark Zuckerberg confirmed all speculations about its rumoured partnership with Spotify. He mentions that it is a forthcoming partnership that will bring Spotify’s accessibility over to Facebook. The inclusion of this new feature will allow users to play their favourite music and podcast from within the Facebook application, News Feed to be more specific. Spotify is one of the world’s most popular music and podcast streaming service and enabling its accessibility to the world’s largest social media conglomerate is kind of a big deal. Facebook users will be able to stream and share all their favourite podcasts and music from Spotify from within the application itself. However, in order for users to use this new feature, they will have to link their Facebook and Spotify accounts for a seamless audio experience on the social media app.

Facebook clearly had a lot to say about its plans for leveraging the potential of audio-based products. Existing social audio platform, Clubhouse is almost a year old and currently serves over 10 million weekly active users. If this does not reveal the hidden potential behind audio-based interaction apps the nothing will. The audio industry is all hot right now, especially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple start-ups are enormously benefitting from this trending industry that has made audio-based interactions, a popular way of communication.

Source: About Facebook

Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media platforms, followed by TikTok and Twitter. Apart from Twitter, all other platforms greatly focus on video-based content but recently with the launch of Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, Facebook Inc. too wants to be a part of this through their “social audio” products.

Having said that, Facebook’s Clubhouse competitor- “Live Audio Rooms” will also be enjoying the company’s “Stars” feature. Stars is a feature launched by the social media conglomerate that allows users and creators to monetise their content stream. The value of 1 Star is USD 0.01, the more you receive them, the more you earn.

Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in his interaction with The Verge editor, Casey Newton that he likes audio more than images and video because of one simple reason that it allows users to multitask and host nuanced conversations for a longer period of time. He further added that audio is certainly going to become a first-class medium and all of Facebook’s new audio products will build across this complete spectrum.

Facebook is diving deep into audio and definitely leveraging its usability to create a whole new market within the Facebook application. Only time will tell the popularity of this new shift of focus from Facebook’s video and image-based content to audio-based content. What do you think?