Facebook has announced several new audio features, tools, and monetization options to capitalize on the audio chat trend.
As part of its effort to take on Clubhouse, Twitter, and the other platforms that are taking advantage of the audio chat trend, Facebook has announced an assortment of audio features and tools that are meant to “make audio presence easy, natural, and immersive so you can more fully experience social presence.”
Among these, a set of audio creation tools, short-form audio clips, podcasts on Facebook, and Live Audio Rooms in Facebook and Messenger. Monetization options are also on the way.
Audio Creation Tools
The first is a set of audio creation tools, described as “sound studio in your pocket,” that give everyone – not just the pros – access to powerful functionality without having to invest in expensive hardware or software.
Facebook says it has been “investing in audio technologies — such as speech-to-text and voice morphing — for a long time” and will now start rolling them out as a creation tool within its app. The tool uses AI to “make audio quality magically great — even if you record on a busy street corner,” and you’ll be able to use music from Facebook’s Sound Collection to soundtrack your story, as well as mix audio tracks, sound effects, voice effects, and filters.
In addition to the above, Facebook will soon be testing a new social audio format called Soundbites. Soundbites are described as “short-form, creative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, jokes, moments of inspiration, poems, and many other things we haven’t yet imagined.”
Testing will begin during the next few months and open to a small number of creators who will “experiment with different concepts.” Once Facebook gets feedback and can refine the feature, it will start rolling out to everyone.
Podcasts on Facebook
Furthermore, Facebook is finally bringing podcasts to its platform. While there are over 170 million people already connected to podcast pages, and over 35 million members of podcast-related fan groups, you would have to leave the Facebook app to listen.
In the next few months, you will be able to listen to podcasts within the Facebook app – while using the app or when it’s in the background. Facebook is also making it easier for you to discover new podcasts, comment on them and even recommend them to others. Podcast creators will be able to reach new listeners and connect with them directly in the Facebook app.
Live Audio Rooms in Facebook and Messenger
Facebook will soon start testing a Live Audio Rooms feature which is expected to be available to all users on its app by the summer. Live Audio Rooms will be tested in Groups first, but public figures will get the feature next. Live Audio Rooms on Messenger will also be released this summer.
At launch, Facebook will introduce several ways for creators to monetize their audio content. For example, when Live Audio Rooms launch, listeners will support their creators with Stars. They can also, however, donate to causes they care about.
Facebook says that soon after launch, it will also offer several other monetization models – i.e., the ability to charge for access to a Live Audio Room with one purchase or subscriptions.
On Soundbites, Facebook is introducing an Audio Creator Fund meant to support new audio creators.