Facebook has officially jumped into the audio space.
The social media giant rolled out a suite of Live Audio Rooms and podcasts on Monday, giving its platform a new foothold in a space that has seen a surge of interest following the meteoric rise of audio-only social apps like Clubhouse during the coronavirus pandemic.
Clubhouse has drawn more than 10 million users and has amassed a $1 billion-plus valuation, joining the ranks of Uber and Airbnb as a unicorn startup. That’s inspired Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and others to develop their own Clubhouse competitors.
“The audio market is fundamentally very fragmented. Every single platform is doing something specific, either the live audio component or the podcast component,” Fidji Simo, head of Facebook’s app, told USA TODAY in an exclusive interview. “Facebook, however, is approaching audio as all of the formats working together.”