Last year, in the month of June, Facebook developed an audio chat product similar to the popular youth app, Clubhouse. The idea behind these live audio rooms is to search and listen to podcasts on its platform, signaling the world's largest social network's entry into the field of social audio—providing users two additional methods to interact with the social network, with the goal of keeping them hooked for longer.
Surprise Visit of Zuckerberg And Musk On Clubhouse
The social networking program Clubhouse gained popularity for allowing users to meet in audio chat rooms to discuss various topics and issues. Later in February 2021, on Thursday night, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a surprise visit to an invite-only audio-based Clubhouse. Following that, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, did the same thing after a few weeks.
After 3 months in June, Facebook Inc. (FB.O) announced the launch of its own live audio rooms—a tool to locate and listen to podcasts on its platform. The Audio Rooms program is comparable to Clubhouse as well as Twitter Spaces. The software broadcasts live conversations where room admins can invite others to join them.
Placement Of The New Podcast Feature
Facebook has displayed the podcasts at the top of News Feed, above Stories, indicating how vital the feature is to the company. The new format also includes creator-friendly features like the opportunity to purchase "stars" in-app rewards that let influencers monetize their streams.
“Live Audio Rooms and podcasts rolling out in the U.S. is just the beginning of our audio journey,” wrote Fidji Simo, Head of Facebook App, “Looking ahead, we are working with creators who will use our audio tools to further develop and launch Soundbites — short-form, creative audio clips…We’ll also soon start testing our other audio products like the central listening destination and background audio listening for videos.”
The Future Of Audio Rooms
Audio rooms will be prominent in Facebook Groups too, where moderators and group admins can allow audio streaming for users who aren't verified or public personalities. To begin, Facebook says it will make the feature available to select groups but aims to extend its availability in the upcoming years.
Facebook has also started to include podcasts on its platform in addition to rooms. Fans may now listen to podcasts while browsing Facebook, thanks to the new update.
Initially, there are just a few names to the list, including electro artist TokiMonsta, journalist Rosa Clemente, esports star Omareloff, Kehlani, Lisa Morales Duke, Bobby Berk, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Joe Budden, and Deray McKesson, quarterback Russell Wilson, D Smoke, and social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen.
“We’ve seen time and again just how much creative energy is liberated when you build powerful creation and editing tools, make them free and easy to use, and — with appropriate safety and privacy safeguards — put them out into the world. By bringing the magic to new audio formats, we’re giving people a new way to say more of what they’ve always wanted to say, this whole time.” Simo wrote in a blog post.