Facebook has taken our screen time and is now coming for our listening breaks. On 19 April, 2021 Facebook announced many new tools for creating and sharing audio. With the rise of podcasts and live social audio on Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse, audio has seen a resurgence. According to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Facebook wants to “treat audio as a first-class medium in the way that we treat photos and videos.”
The company is working on its live audio product called Live Audio Rooms and will test it in Facebook Groups. Facebook wants this feature to be available to everyone this summer Facebook and incorporate it in its messaging app, Messenger. Podcasts are also coming to Facebook. Soon people will be able to listen to and discover new podcasts directly on the Facebook app.
Soundbites is another new product. They are audio clips that are audio-focused with captions. To the selected number of creators, the feature will be available 1st, including motivational speaker Molly Burke and comedian Drew Lynch. The company has also announced plans for creators so that they can make money with the audio tools. This includes charging for access to Live Audio Rooms and using Facebook Stars, its tipping feature. It is also launching an Audio Creator Fund to support those using its Soundbites feature.
According to Mark, he likes audio while multitasking, people can easily consume it, and the production is more accessible. Creator economy is empowering individuals, and he thinks that is a positive trend in the world.
Other new things on Facebook this year –
- Redesigned layout – Now, it’s easy to navigate between a personal profile and a public Page. The look and the feel are redesigned.
- Dedicated News Feed – The power of News Feed to Pages for the first time the company is bringing. Now pages can join and discover conversation, follow trends, engage with fans.
- Updated task-based admin controls – Giving page admin who is trusted partial access or complete control.
- Actionable insights and more relevant notifications can be seen.