Facebook to add podcasts, Clubhouse-style audio features

Clubhouse, the fast-growing audio-only social network, has two problems: first, its platform is really just a feature. Second, Facebook is adding the feature.

Audio-only networks have become increasingly popular during the pandemic.Facebook will also launch a new feature, Soundbites, where users can create and share short audio clips. The feature will be launched over the next few months, at first with a small number of creators. Users will be able to make money in the Live Audio Rooms or with Soundbites, though it's unclear if this will be available to anyone or just reserved for creators with large followings.

Clubhouse-as-a-feature might put an end to the explosive growth of Clubhouse-as-a-platform, but it will also focus Clubhousers on why they are there in the first place: to engage with specific communities who have made it their home.

Perhaps a little buried in early coverage is that all this is also going to mean podcasting-as-a-feature and Substack-as-a-feature (i.e. paid newsletters/bloggers) on Facebook. Recreating the old web inside the city walls, with all roads leading to Menlo Park.