Like every other platform, Facebook is jumping on the audio bandwagon, and today the company officially unveiled its plans, which are actually more fully formed than expected.
Facebook says they are invested in the full spectrum of audio technologies, from audio quality enhancements, captions and speech translations.
Today they are delivering 3 products:
Facebook is releasing Soundbites — short-form, creative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, jokes, moments of inspiration, poems, and more.
Soundbites will be created using a new audio creation tool available directly inside the Facebook app. The app will use AI to enhance the audio quality, even when recording in a noisy location. You will be able to use music from Facebook’s Sound Collection in the background of your story and mix in audio tracks from a growing collection of sound effects, voice effects and filters.
Facebook will start testing Soundbites over the next few months with a small number of creators and refine the product with their input before making it available to everyone.
On the other end of the spectrum, Facebook will also be supporting long-form audio. Within the next few months, you’ll be able to listen to podcasts directly on the Facebook app — both while using the app or when the app is backgrounded. Facebook will also be recommending new podcasts and episodes based on your interests, let you comment on them and recommend them to your friends.
Live Audio Rooms in Facebook and Messenger
The jewel in the crown of the announcement is probably Live Audio Rooms. Facebook does not spend much time explaining how it will work, but does extoll their large audience and access to celebrities. They will be testing Live Audio Rooms in Groups, and also make them available to public figures to host conversations.
In addition to bringing this to Facebook, they also plan to release Live Audio Rooms on Messenger you can easily hang out with your friends, too.
Facebook will start testing Live Audio Rooms now and expect it to be available to everyone on the Facebook app by the summer.
Facebook says creators will be able to change Live Audio Room meetings into podcasts, and excerpt highlights into SoundBites. Facebook will also automatically caption discussions to make them accessible. Videos will also be able to play in the background, so you can enjoy the audio while doing something else like driving.
Facebook will allow creators to earn money via Stars, which listeners can give to hosts, and also allow donations to their causes. Hosts will also be able to charge for access to a Live Audio Room via a single payment or subscription. To kickstart things, Facebook is also an Audio Creator Fund to support emerging audio creators and get early feedback on the new product experience.
Do our readers think Clubhouse stands a chance now Facebook is entering the market in a big way? Let us know below.