Facebook announces ‘Soundbites,’ Clubhouse spinoff in the works


Audio-only media has been rapidly increasing in popularity among people of all ages and backgrounds over the past decade.

What was once transmitted by radio has now become a podcast. Where once people would sit down and read a book, now we listen to audiobooks while commuting, running errands, and doing our dailies.

Platforms like Clubhouse seem lime the natural next step to this audio-centered, interest-focused revolution taking place around the globe.

Seeing a natural point of entry into this new and blossoming market, and the increasing use of audio among users, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this week that the company is working on a Clubhouse clone of their own, dubbed “Soundbites.”

Users can create and share short audio clips, and listen to podcasts directly through the app, or join Live Audio Rooms. While Zuckerberg mentioned a monetization strategy included in the rollout, its criteria remain unclear to date.

“Audio seamlessly fits within our busy lives, allows us to be inspired by new ideas, and talk with other like-minded people without pressure,” Facebook board member, Fidji Simo, said in a statement.

Simo’s post on the company’s blog describes ‘Soundbites’ as the “Sound Studio in your pocket”, complete with a set of audio creation tools. The app will allow users to mix audio tracks, utilize a growing collection of voice and voice sound effects and filters. Seamless is the word of the day, and the app aims to allow everyday users to harness the power of storytelling and speak their minds at a moment’s notice, with good sound quality to boot.

The company has been investing greatly in technologies such as speech-to-text and voice morphing, allowing people to filter out the surrounding noise even on crowded streets according to the blog post.

And it is not just Facebook that took this step. Popular community networking platform Reddit is also jumping on the bandwagon with their own Reddit Talk.

It is too early to make any major judgements on the prospected success of this new feature, but what is certain is that the future audio-only media is going strong and showing no signs of deceleration.