Facebook Announces New Audio Features to Take on Twitter and Clubhouse
By: Aashruti Vohra
Facebook has announced its plans to launch new audio products and features in a move to take on competitors such as Twitter and Clubhouse, an invitation-only audio platform that has generated significant buzz.
Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement in an interview with Casey Newton, a former tech reporter for the Verge who now has his own newsletter, saying the social media network had plans in the coming months to launch features including the short-form audio clips called “Soundbites”, as well as live audio rooms.
The Facebook chief also said that soon there would be a way for the users to discover and play the podcasts on Facebook also.
The new features closely replicate those of Clubhouse, an audio app that has flourished considerably since it was launched a year ago. The platform, which remains invitation-only, allows users to tune into audio rooms to listen to speeches, talks and conversations, much like an audio-only conferencing.
The rapid growth of the app has demonstrated the potential of audio chat services, especially to the people staying home during the ongoing pandemic.
“Audio as a medium just allows for longer-form discussions and exploring ideas. You can get into topics that frankly are a lot harder to do with other mediums. And audio, I think, is just a lot more accessible because you can multitask while listening”, Zuckerberg mentioned.
Twitter also has a new feature called “Spaces” essentially its live audio rooms, a product that will let groups of people listen to and interact with speakers on a virtual “stage”. It is expected to go live sometime in April.
As part of the announcements made by Zuckerberg, he also said that Facebook was working with Spotify to make sharing content easier for musicians and listeners.
Based out of Menlo Park, in the western US state of California, Facebook continues to be the world’s largest social network. The company is valued at US$159.32 billion as of 2020. It employs 52,535 people around the globe.
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