Facebook announces Clubhouse clone ‘Live audio rooms’, coming this summer


Facebook is betting big on audio. The social media giant on Monday announced that the company is creating a new feature called Live Audio Rooms, its version of the popular Clubhouse app that allows people to listen and engage in live audio conversations.

The Mark Zuckerberg-run Facebook plans to roll out the feature to everyone by this summer, the company said in a blog post. Facebook plans to test out the feature with select groups and public figures, to begin with. Eventually, the audio feature comes to Facebook Messenger.

The company says the idea behind Live Audio Rooms is to host audio discussions and record and distribute your conversations. It also said it plans to allow users to charge others to access their Live Audio Rooms through either a subscription or one-time fee. To encourage more users to jump onto its Live Audio Rooms feature, Facebook is introducing an audio creator fund to “support emerging audio creators.”

Facebook is also launching Soundbites, where users can create and share short audio clips.(Image credit: Facebook)

It’s little surprising to see Facebook is building a similar audio feature that made Clubhouse the fastest growing audio social network in the world. In fact, the rise of Clubhouse has created many live audio drop-in social networks. Audio social networks have gained momentum during the pandemic.

Facebook has also announced one more audio product called Soundbites. The new audio product essentially lets you create and share short-form clips. This is basically TikTok, but with audio clips. Soundbites will be live within the main news feed and users will be able to record them in a separate tool within Facebook. The company touts “Soundbites” as a “sound studio in your pocket.” It plans to test this feature with select creators in the coming months.

Additionally, Facebook will also allow users to listen to podcasts directly from the main Facebook app. It says more than 170 million people on Facebook are currently connected to a page that’s linked to a specific podcast, and over 35 million people are members of fan groups around podcasts.

Facebook also announced a partnership with Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service. A new partnership with Spotify will allow users to easily play music within the social network. The integration is internally known as “Project Boombox”.

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