Facebook unveils new audio features

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Facebook rolled out a new set of audio features and tools Monday that will allow users to communicate verbally in real time.

The Live Audio Rooms feature, which appears to be very similar to the audio features offered by the social media platform Clubhouse, will be tested within groups on Facebook to start. The company expects the new feature will be available to everyone on the Facebook app and Messenger this summer.

“We believe that audio is a perfect way for communities to engage around topics they care about,” Fidji Simo, head of Facebook App, said in a blog post Monday.

Facebook is also building a tool to help users record voice messages and then post them on their news feeds.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Monday interview with reporter Casey Newton on Sidechannel, a Discord server, that Facebook is working on podcast features.

This is not the first time that Facebook has replicated a feature from an up-and-coming social media app, previously adopting features similar to Snapchat.

Clubhouse, which allows users to join audio chat rooms on specific topics, has grown rapidly since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. A recent fundraising round valued the company at about $4 billion.

Facebook wasn’t the only company to announce a Clubhouse-style feature on Monday. Reddit unveiled a feature called Reddit Talk, where subreddit moderators will be able to initiate audio conversations.

Twitter, Slack and LinkedIn have all released social audio features in recent months.

Tags Clubhouse Facebook LinkedIn Mark Zuckerberg Reddit Snapchat Social media Twitter

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