Facebook finally plans (vaguely) to treat audio as a thing

Facebook has non-announced that audio might be a thing, sometime soon. In other words, Mark Zuckerberg confided to a journalist that Facebook will soon imitate Clubhouse, and somehow get into podcasting, plus put a limited native audio function in the platform.

Here are the main product points as gleaned from Vox’s report of Zuckerberg’s discussion with Vox reporter Casey Newton.:

  • An audio version of Rooms, Facebook’s Covid-inspired imitation of Zoom.
  • Something resembling Clubhouse, involving groups of people listening to someone on a virtual stage.
  • Allowing FB users to post short audio comments.
  • Connecting with Spotify to offer a podcast discovery function.

No timeline is on the record.

We are especially interested in the audio commenting feature, as it reminds us of the marvelous (and heartbreakingly short-lived) Anchor version 1, which supported a bustling community of “wave” posters building friendships through 30-second audio threads. We have missed that long-ago service, and would welcome something similar in Facebook, derivative though it (and the others) might be.

Obviously we are acerbic about FB generally, wishing for years that the service would treat audio with basic respect. These new initiatives might begin to correct the insulting oversight, even if they appear to lack any original concepts.

Brad Hill