Facebook Inc. joined the crush of tech companies on Monday as they pursue the Clubhouse-popular digital audio craze with new tools and features for live audio rooms, podcasts and soundbites.
"Every now and then a new medium is added that can be adopted in many different areas," says Facebook
Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in an interview on the Discord app.
The main offering among the new offerings is Live Audio Rooms, a clubhouse-like product that allows people to interact in real time with public figures and developers. It should be available on Messenger this summer, the company said.
The company also said podcasts will be available directly on Facebook within a few months. In addition, Soundbites, Facebook's new short-form audio product, will make short clips available to users. According to Zuckerberg, the product is like an audio version of his TikTok-like video product Instagram Reels.
Facebook's rival to Clubhouse comes as no surprise given the popularity of the invite-only audio chat app launched less than a year ago. A few weeks ago, Facebook entered into a purchasing partnership with Shopify Inc. SHOP on Clubhouse.
Clubhouse competitor Spaces debuted in late 2020 but is still in beta and the company had talks about a possible $ 4 billion acquisition of Clubhouse, according to a Bloomberg report. In the meantime, Microsoft Corp.
LinkedIn and Salesforce.com Inc.
Slack Technologies Inc. is one of the companies that are reportedly developing features similar to Clubhouse for their networks.
Facebook shares fell 1.65% on Monday.