Here’s a new word for your digital marketing vocabulary, micropodcasting. Just as Twitter made microblogging famous, Facebook is ready and waiting to make micropodcasting the hot new trend.
Micropodcasting isn’t a new concept, creators have been using audio tools like Soundcloud and Clammr to make their audio content social media friendly for a while. There’s even been a sprinkling of attempts to launch audio focused social network, but none have hit the mainstream just yet. It is difficult for small developers to compete with the mighty powers of Facebook, Google and Twitter when it comes to innovation and setting new trends.
So, without giving Facebook too much credit for the original concept, there is a new voice clips feature coming to the social network. This feature takes the audio from private messages and open them up the News Feed. The voice clips feature has been designed as another way to help users create native content that is unique to Facebook, something the platform has been pushing for a long time and can be seen in the way they currently give priority to native video. Facebook wants users to stay logged in and engaged for as long as possible, so if you publish content that helps them do that, you can reap the rewards.
The new voice clips status update feature for Facebook is currently being tested in India, as a way to break down language barriers in a country that speaks over 22 different dialects. Facebook hopes that users will find it easier to share and interact on Facebook if given the choice to record quick audio clips rather than the struggle to switch keyboards, type and translate which takes longer. With over 200 million voice messages being sent daily already on WhatsApp, it’s no surprise that Facebook wants part of that audio action for its main platform.
As Facebook develops its reputation as an outlet for life milestone announcements, cat photos and low quality viral videos, they have a big job to recapture the engagement that keeps users happy. In Q4 2017, Facebook saw its biggest drop in daily active users with a drop of 700,000 in the U.S and Canada, attributed to the lowered priority of poor quality viral video. Facebook needs to keep innovating if they want their audience to stay interested and their advertisers satisfied.
The voice clips status update, will appear in the same format currently available for uploading a video, photo or note and audio clips will be visualised into a simple waveform graphic, helping them to stand out from a timeline. Facebook has been working on ways to make sharing personal content easier, that’s what their VR masks are for, anonymity. So, it’s believed that the audio clip feature will further break down the obstacles that could be stopping some users from sharing on Facebook. A spokesperson from Facebook told TechCrunch, “We are always working to help people share and connect with their friends and family on Facebook in ways that are authentic to them. Voice Clips gives people a new medium through which to express themselves.”
It should be interesting to see if it takes off and, if there's some nice opportunities for brands.