Does Facebook’s New Soundbite Feature Really Help Musicians?


Your Facebook menu will get more and more crowded. New audio tools and monetization for creators – mistakenly called “Soundbites” – will soon be available via Facebook and Messenger.

As imitators of social media platforms Facebook and Twitter are known (first Snapchat-style stories, then “reels” mimicking TikTok), Facebook has pulled notes from audio room platforms like the app. chat room on Clubhouse invitation. These types of audio rooms focus on chatting with others rather than posting to streams, which means more opportunities to hear the garbage live. Twitter did something like this with its own Clubhouse copy, Twitter Spaces.

Creators will also be able to monetize their audio content, which could be an outlet for local musical artists when the option becomes available. According to Facebook, the new audio features will allow monetization for fan creators through donations, subscriptions or one-time payments.

During the pandemic, live broadcasts on platforms such as Facebook became a widespread trend among musicians. More often than not, however, artists would request tips through separate CashApp or Venmo apps.

“When Live Audio Rooms launch, fans will be able to support their favorite creators and public figures through Stars, or donate to causes they care about,” Facebook said in a recent announcement of the changes. “Shortly after launch, we will also be offering other monetization models, such as the ability to charge for access to a live audio room through a one-time purchase or subscription.”

The Stars option was rolled out in 2018 for the Facebook Gaming community when the company competed with the Twitch game streaming app. The stars, which are given by users, are only a penny per star, so creators should collect all the stars from the night sky to make a profit. On top of that, creators wouldn’t even see this profit until 30 days after their streaming event.

“I’m happy to see more support options for musicians. It will always be a good thing. “- Dallas musician Sean Seybold

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Other new features that Facebook will make available to content creators on Soundbites is the ability to post short audio clips and podcasts. The audio rooms will be accessible to anyone with a Facebook account. Yeah, kinda pointless with all the podcasts and audio rooms out there already, right? Well it might not be that bad. Sean Seybold, a musician from Dallas, doesn’t think so.

“I’m happy to see more support options for musicians,” Seybold says. “It will always be a good thing. But if people prefer to stay at home instead of going out, it will be difficult to book these experiences live. Again, a digital audience is better than no audience at all. ”

Some artists say otherwise and aren’t too thrilled with these audio additions, even hoping they fail.

“I am excited about the future where Facebook will see a rapid succession of failures because its platform is uninteresting and dysfunctional,” said writer Hank Green in a tweet. “And they refused to fix it in order to support double-digit growth over several years.”

There were also those who pointed out that more important things could be improved on the app, like account issues.

“Although it’s exciting …” said @ChikaUmeadi in a quote tweet in response to the revelation, “Looks like if you read the comments, some people would rather have their accounts unlocked than new audio features.”

All of this audio is slated to launch on Facebook this summer, as we’re all dying to spend more time scrolling Facebook. At least you can support your local music artists and podcasters in the process, can’t you? To the right.



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