About 10 weeks after Mark Zuckerberg joined a Clubhouse room and sparked a thousand rumors about his intent to clone Clubhouse, Facebook is rolling out what Zuckerberg described "a suite of audio products."
It's building a set of tools for creators to host live discussions, and share and listen to podcasts within Facebook. It's also releasing a "soundbites" feature that lets users share audio clips on their News Feed, which Zuckerberg explained as essentially TikTok but for audio files.
During an interview with Platformer's Casey Newton, Zuckerberg framed the moves as bringing audio up to par with video and photos on all of Facebook's properties. He said he likes that audio doesn't require visual attention, and can be used in the background. "From a production experience, it's also a lot more accessible, right?" he said. "You don't have to get a whole video setup. I don't have to pay attention to what I'm wearing when we're doing this. It's a lot easier and more and more accessible, I think."
Audio has always been a part of Facebook, of course, through WhatsApp calls and the like. But it's typically been a one-on-one or small-group medium, not a broadly social part of the platform. Now Facebook plans to change that. Its new products are coming over the next few months, he said