Facebook announces new audio-focused products

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We all know and noticed that Facebook has been pushing hard for video content the past few years, especially with Facebook Watch. But the social media world seems to be enamored lately with the more accessible form of content: audio. And so it is not surprising at all that Facebook is now making a big push for audio-focused products on their platform. They have just made a major announcement for this and it includes info about two new features: Soundbites and Audio Rooms plus the arrival of podcasts and more audio creation tools.

Facebook says they are investing in several new audio creation tools so you can have a “sound studio in your pocket”. This will include things like the ability to send a GIF-like sound clip as reactions to a post or message to bigger tools like creating background audio for your Stories, the ability to mix audio tracks, sound effects, voice effects, filters, etc. They are investing in things like speech-to-text, voice morphing, and of course artificial intelligence technology.

The first new product that is a result of this is called Soundbites. This new social audio format will allow users to create short-form audio clips like a joke, a poem, an anecdote, inspirational quotes, and other content that is best served through the audio format. They are testing it out now with a small group of content creators and they will be experimenting as to the most creative ways to be able to create this kind of content and how it will appeal to Facebook’s audience. They plan to make this available to users in the next few months.

The other new thing is something we’ve heard of before: Live Audio Rooms on Messenger and Facebook. Anyone familiar with the current darling Clubhouse will find this concept familiar. It will let groups and rooms create and participate in live audio sessions. They are testing it out now with specific groups but they are hoping to release it to everyone by this summer. They are also planning to release Live Audio Rooms on Messenger later on.

Finally, podcasts are also now coming to Facebook soon. Of course there are already a lot of podcast pages on the platform but soon you don’t have to leave Facebook to listen to the actual podcasts. You can listen to them while using the app or even when the app is in the background. They will also be suggesting podcasts based on your interests and listening history. You’ll be able to listen to podcasts on Facebook in the next few months, probably same time as Soundbites.

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