Facebook to focus on audio products with podcast features, virtual rooms, and more

Facebook is pushing hard to compete with Clubhouse and Twitter in the audio category. As reported by Axios, Mark Zuckerberg’s company is working on podcast features and other new audio-focused products.

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Zuckerberg said Facebook’s launching a “suite of new tools and features designed to help users better connect with each other and their favorite creators.”

Speaking to a community on the chat app Discord Monday hosted by independent journalist Casey Newton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided a product roadmap for how it plans to build out its audio suite in the next 3-6 months.

Facebook is working in three main products, which are: Soundbits, Podcasts, and Live audio.

  • Soundbites: It’s Facebook’s new short-form audio product that will serve users a stream of brief clips. It will be “an audio version” of Instagram Reels, according to Zuckerberg;
  • Podcasts: Facebook is also building a podcast discovery tool for creators to share their podcasts with users on the platform. Mark Zuckerberg says the company could potentially partner with an external podcast app so users could listen to podcasts in the background of their Facebook experience;
  • Live Audio: Facebook’s CEO suggested that there will be ways live audio can help the company boost the creator economy. “Every once in a while a new medium comes along that can be adopted into a lot of different areas.”

Zuckerberg also said Facebook is focused “on the creator side than the consumption side” and that “the company is building out infrastructure for things like donations or subscriptions that can help creators monetize their products that could one day be applied to audio.”

Recently, 9to5Mac covered Hotline, a new Facebook web-based app that is a mashup of Clubhouse and Instagram Live. The company has also been working on a Clubhouse competitor, as rumors gained traction last month when a new “Live Audio” feature entered tested.

Twitter is also set to launch its Spaces feature this month. Last we heard, the social network was working to bring Spaces to web browsers as well.

As Clubhouse gains more competition, we have to wait and see how the company will handle Facebook and Twitter’s new products.

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Avatar for José Adorno José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at Rede Globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

Got tips, feedback, or questions? jose@9to5mac.com