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Facebook encourages audio conversion to take on upcoming apps

Facebook encourages audio conversion to take on upcoming apps

Facebook is giving a boost to audio, launching a set of new features that will allow users to organize audio conferences and podcasts to compete with upcoming apps like Clubhouse.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the world’s largest social media company, said users planned to expand live audio rooms for their users on Monday, as well as new tools that will allow users to search, create and make money from podcasts. in the next three to six months.

He also announced that a feature called “Soundbites” will be launched, where users can post or listen to short audio clips that will be shown in a continuous feed, similar to Instagram’s Reels video feed.

“We believe, of course, that audio will also be a primary medium,” Zuckerberg said in a live interview with technology journalist Casey Newton on Monday. He added that audio “allows for longer discussions and the study of ideas,” but “it can be accessible because you can do multiple tasks.”

The move is Facebook’s latest effort to copy popular products from its opponents presentation race new video conferencing features last April as a way to organize and socialize meetings from the Zoom and Google Hangouts groups.

They resort to so-called audio products “Zoom fatigue” – The frustration of being constantly in front of the camera – but it also allows entertainment-hungry professionals to offer new networks while the conference circuit remains closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In particular, the launch of Facebook could hurt Clubhouse’s audio start-up, as it has become the fastest growing social media app in the world this year, providing a platform to discuss topics such as entrepreneurship, politics and the latest news.

The clubhouse has surpassed 14 million downloads, according to App Annie data, but has suffered disruptions because its servers have been flooded with users.

Over the weekend, Clubhouse announced that it has secured a new round of financing led by Andreessen Horowitz, with new investors DST Global and Tiger Global. The fundraiser gives the startup that launched its product a year ago a $ 4 billion valuation, according to two people who knew the situation, to $ 1 billion in January.

Facebook is also turning to Twitter this month for the Club House “Spaces” clone and Reddit discussion forum, which advanced its next Reddit Talk feature. on Monday. Twitter previously tried to get Clubhouse in exchange for $ 4 billion, though the discussions stopped, according to a recent report by Bloomberg.

Changes in favor of live audio, such as live playback, pose real-time challenges to moderating content in a time when Facebook is already on fire for content-controlled failures persecuted by U.S. regulators.

Miles Kruppak additional news of San Francisco

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