Social Audio: Facebook, It’s Your Turn

What is Facebook doing? How will it compete against Clubhouse? How will it compete with Twitter’s Spaces? Facebook is jumping onto the social audio trend, and we’ve got you covered with the details.

What is Facebook’s new social audio feature?

As you could’ve expected, with the sudden rise in social audio, Facebook’s Clubhouse clone is in the works. This feature would let users create audio-only broadcasts that they can listen to and participate in, very similar to how Clubhouse works. Further, according to a new discovery in the back-end code of the app, it could be here very soon.

Added in May last year, Facebook’s Rooms feature enables users to create private video chats that others can drop into. So, it wouldn’t be a long stretch for Facebook to develop similar audio software. Even though it is a ‘step back’ technologically, it would allow data load times to be decreased, whilst also being open to all users – a big win-win for Facebook:

“Isn’t this the same as Clubhouse?”, you may ask.

Yes, the set-up is very similar, however, Facebook has a few tricks up their sleeve.

What does this mean for Clubhouse?

The social audio trend launched by Clubhouse back in 2020 has generated huge amounts of hype. It brought in 10 million users in 10 months due to its exclusivity. Despite Clubhouse’s success, however, Facebook’s new social audio feature will have something that Clubhouse doesn’t. This being that anyone can join in.

Clubhouse is still in invite-only mode, meaning you can only join the club if you’re invited in. This could turn up the heat for Clubhouse, seeing as Facebook are planning to give everyone access to this social audio feature. Furthermore, if Facebook can provide its own public Rooms discovery process, while enabling pages to reach their followers by highlighting in-progress social audio Rooms at the top of the app, this feature could also become an incentive for creators looking to maximize their reach and community-building efforts.

In addition to this, Facebook’s main gamechanger is that the app currently has 1.8 billion active users. This, combined with the fact that Clubhouse is invite-only, puts Facebook in a position to take the lead in the world of social audio.

Another idea would be to add social audio functions to Groups. The niche-focused Facebook Groups are already highly engaged with, so it seems like a no-brainer that Facebook will add these in the near future.

Clubhouse, on the other hand, is somewhat on the back foot in this respect.

What do we think?

It will be interesting to see when Facebook plans to go live with this, and how it’ll affect Clubhouse. Either way, it’s looking like brand pages and influencers on Facebook will definitely be benefitting from this new addition. It will allow for community building, maximising engagements and driving more referral traffic, which is why we think it could overtake the social audio boom that is Clubhouse.

Drop a Tweet to our Social Media Agency team and let us know what you think.

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