Facebook is expanding its investment in audio initiatives with the launch of a new “Audio” destination in its mobile app in the U.S., where users will be able to discover in one place all the audio formats Facebook now hosts, including podcasts, Live Audio Rooms and short-form audio. The company says it’s also making its Clubhouse rival, Live Audio Rooms, more broadly available to global users, and is beginning to roll out a new product called Soundbites, a sort of TikTok for audio offering short audio clips.
An early version of the new Audio destination has been in the process of rolling out to all Facebook users (18 and up) in the U.S. across both iOS and Android, but is being officially announced now. It can be accessed through the top navigation within Watch, Facebook’s video hub — a design choice that feels a little incongruous, given that audio content is meant to be listened to, not “watched.”
The company says the new destination will help creators to have their shows found, while Facebook users will be able to find audio content from favorite creators, discover new ones and access content they had saved for later. At launch, the Audio section will feature the content from the creators you’re already following, and will include a set of personalized recommendations as well as suggestions of other audio that’s popular across Facebook.
The destination will become more personalized to your own tastes and interests over time, as you engage with the audio content and follow more creators, Facebook notes.
This spring, Facebook had introduced a suite of new audio features, including its Clubhouse competitor called Live Audio Rooms, as well as the short-form audio product called Soundbites, plus support for podcasts. With Spotify, it also partnered on a new miniplayer that streams from the music service to users on Facebook.