Facebook, on Monday, announced a multiple range of products that focus primarily on audio rather than text, images or video. Facebook is launching a competitor to the much talked about social audio app, Clubhouse this summer in the US.
Facebook announced that it would be launching a feature called Live Audio Rooms, quite similar to Clubhouse. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook plans on launching features like short-form audio clips called Soundbites. The company would be working closely to monitor and improve the quality of the audio. However, experts have expressed their doubts about Facebook being able to manage and moderate this feature due to its nature of having problematic content shared across its platform by users.
As an incentive to join, the social media giant said that it would be introducing a fund for supporting “emerging audio creators”. All these conversations would be easily converted to soundbites and can be shared across the platform. Zuckerberg also expressed his preference for audio over video lately in an interview. He said that it lets people multitask and more nuanced conversation takes the centre stage.
Facebook plans on really encashing and capturing the podcast market. Facebook also revealed that 170 million people on the platform are connected to a specific page that is linked to a podcast. It also mentioned that more than 35 million people are members of fan groups around podcasts. A partnership (Project Boombox) with Spotify is also awaited.
“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,” a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement.
Why are people so attracted to audio formats?
The rapid growth of the year-old app Clubhouse has demonstrated the potential of audio chat services. Most major tech companies are currently waging a war in the audio space. Twitter launched spaces sometime back and users are navigating through the audio journey in the app. Reddit also unveiled a preview of its Reddit Talks product to moderators on Monday. Audio platforms seem to be the new craze that is going to stay. This is due to their familiarity, ease of usage, and scope of multitasking.
The podcast format really shot up during the pandemic. People craved human interaction during the pandemic and the audio conversation format gave people scope of exploring this format. The plethora of genres that are available also gives this space an edge over the others. The ease of recording too helps. Moreover, the format of audio has long existed with radio in picture.
Share with us some of your favourite audio platforms and favourite podcasts!