Facebook announced a suite of new audio products, in their continuing bid to be everything to everyone.
The new products see the company move into the domain of various other companies such as Substack, Spotify, and Clubhouse.
The Clubhouse competitor, Live Audio Rooms, will feature live audio rooms, taking advantage of Facebook’s ready-made ecosystem.
“I think that you already have these communities that are organised around interests, and allowing people to come together and have rooms where they can talk is — I think it’d be a very useful thing,” said Zuckerberg.
“When we launched video rooms earlier last year, groups and communities were one of the bigger areas where that took off. So, I think around audio, just given how much more accessible it is, that’ll be a pretty exciting area as well.”
Facebook is also planning an audio-only version of Instagram Reels, which they are calling Soundbites.
“The idea here is it’s short-form audio clips,” Zuckerberg explained, “whether it’s people sharing things that they find funny, or kind of pithy things that people want to share that cover a bunch of different genres and topics.”
They are also integrating podcast players into their Facebook feed, which will also feature a discovery element. Project Boombox offers a similar experience, but with music from Spotify, allowing users to share content via an inline player..
Zuckerberg is also planning a subscription model for creators, as well as a newsletter product, a la Substack.
“I think a product where a journalist or a creator can basically create a subscription for people who want to follow them, that spans both a newsletter and a podcast, is going to be a really powerful thing,” said Zuckerberg.
“That’s a big part of what we’re going to enable with some of the monetisation tools around podcasts. That dovetails with the work that we’re planning to do…our work on our newsletters and giving tools for for independent journalists.
“I think enabling both of those things to come together on extremely favourable terms to journalists and creators, will be a pretty powerful thing.”