Deepening its investment into new audio experiences, Facebook has begun its roll out of a designated “Audio” tab within its mobile app where users based in the U.S. will soon be able to access podcasts, Live Audio Rooms, and short-form sound bites.
While “Facebook is getting into podcasts” might be a viscerally upsetting sentence for a lot of reasons, the platform has been all in on new audio formats for some time now. Facebook first launched its podcast product back in June, which allowed creators to integrate their audio content directly into their Pages for easy listening and distribution. And podcasts aren’t the only audio content that will be populating its new mobile hub: Live Audio Rooms, Facebook’s answer to Clubhouse, will also get a feature in the audio tab, as will Soundbites — the short-form audio product that Facebook has been peddling as of late in a bid to attract TikTok users to the platform.
According to TechCrunch, the new ‘Audio’ destination will leverage an algorithm much like the ones used by TikTok and Instagram, which will help users find content from both creators they follow and new ones made discoverable by a personalised recommendation system. The hub will reportedly become more personalised to each individual user’s interests and preferences over time, basing its recommendations off of which audio selections you listen to and which types content you engage with the most.
While the thought of Facebook’s potential to disseminate disinformation through new forms of easily corruptible content is enough to give anyone hives, the platform assures that it’s been developing a toolkit to help it more easily identify, detect and moderate content that runs afoul of its Community Standards.
For now, the new Audio tab is nestled — confusingly — within the ‘Watch’ section of the Facebook mobile app, and will soon be available to all US-based users of iOS and Android devices.