Facebook Inc. on Monday announced it will launch several audio-centric products that can help it compete against Clubhouse, an audio-only chatting app that exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flagship social network will introduce a set of experimental audio tools to create a sound studio, allowing users to mix audio tracks, add sound and voice effects, and filters using speech-to-text and sound morphing features, Facebook said in a statement.
Here’s a gist of all that Facebook is planning to introduce in the coming weeks. The social network plans to launch a feature called Soundbites, which it described as a “short-form, creative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, jokes, moments of inspiration, poems, and many other things we haven’t yet imagined.”
The feature is similar to audio clips on WhatsApp and Messenger, with the exception of a more shareable emphasis. Facebook plans to roll this feature to a “small number of creators” in the coming weeks before it’s launched to a global audience.
Facebook also plans to launch a long-form audio tool for users to be able to listen to podcasts directly within the website/app. The podcast tool will provide suggestions based on the user’s interests. One can also share and comment on podcasts just like any other content on Facebook.
What’s interesting is that Facebook is looking to integrate Clubhouse’s primary features into the social network too. The social media company plans to launch another audio-only tool of Rooms, also known as Live Audio Rooms. This experimental tool will be like any public room on the internet. Facebook interns to allow the tools to be used by artists, politicians, public figures and content creators to interact with users at large. Users will also be able to donate to creators during a Live Audio Session.
Facebook aims to launch these audio tools in a bid to make audio experiences seamless on its platform. The company plans to let users play music from its wide-ranging sound collection, as well as apply a range of sound effects, and voice filters to create unique content.
The social media company is also working on a unique tool that will enable users to send effects like “crickets chirping to quote from popular songs” in Messenger and WhatsApp. It could very much be an audio version of a GIF. For all things and more on the platform, we’ll have to wait and see.
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