Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Briefing
Amazon Facebook

The Briefing: Facebook Goes All In on Audio

Photo: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo by Bloomberg.

It’s doubtful there has been this much excitement about audio since the first radio broadcast. On Sunday Clubhouse confirmed our scoop from Friday about its latest $4 billion valuation fundraising. And today Facebook unveiled its new line of audio products, some of which offer Clubhouse-like features while others allow people to record short audio snippets and post them on their Facebook feed. As CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during an interview on Discord: “Audio is of course going to be a first-class medium.”

Well, yes, audio has been a first-class medium for a few decades now. In fact, as Nielsen noted in a recent study, a greater percentage of Americans tune into radio in the average week —88%—than use any other media including smartphone apps. And clearly, these new digital apps are a huge advance on radio, at least in terms of giving people the chance to broadcast themselves rather than just listening to others. Whether we all want to hear our friends’ audio recordings on our news feed is a different matter altogether.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Online Learning Company Udemy Plans October IPO
A high school student works on a laptop computer at home during a remote learning day. Photo by Bloomberg
Udemy, a San Francisco–based startup that sells online courses to individuals and businesses, is preparing to file paperwork for an initial public offering whose listing could come as soon as next month, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The company, which raised $50 million at a $3.3 billion valuation in November, is targeting an initial valuation of between $6...
Latest Briefs
 
Internal Robinhood Discussions Revealed in Court Filing
Huawei Finance Chief to be Freed After Deal with U.S. Prosecutors
China Bans All Cryptocurrency Transactions
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Illustration by Josh Brill
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
More Startup CEOs Are Moonlighting as VC Investors
Late last year, Lattice CEO Jack Altman started an unusual side gig for a startup founder: He raised $20 million from investors for a venture capital fund he was launching while continuing to run Lattice, the developer of human resource management software he co-founded six years ago.
Illustration by Haejin Park
Exclusive Google
How Google Spies on Its Employees
At Google, a seemingly innocuous action can earn an employee the attention of the company’s corporate security department.
Sarah Guo, a general partner at Greylock Partners. Photo by Bloomberg.
Exclusive Venture Capital Startups
Greylock Raises $500 Million in Battle for Seed Deals
Greylock Partners has raised $500 million to focus exclusively on seed deals, a pool of funds that will give the 56-year-old venture capital firm the ability to write large checks at “lean-in valuations” and emphasize its commitment to early-stage investing, said general partner Sarah Guo.
The Athletic co-founder Alex Mather with The Information's Jessica Lessin in 2018. Photo by Erin Beach.
Exclusive Media/Telecom
The Athletic Hires LionTree to Find Buyer at Price of More Than $750 Million
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. That appears to be the motto of The Athletic in its efforts to sell itself.
Data Point Startups Markets
What’s Hot and Cold in the SPAC Market
After a frenetic beginning to 2021, the special purpose acquisition company market has cooled off in recent months, with fewer SPACs filing to go public and many pre-deal shares trading below their $10 issue price.
Spring CEO Chris Lamontagne Photo: Spring
Creator Economy Startups
Custom ‘Merch’ Maker Spring Eyes $165 Million in Revenue, Future IPO
Spring , formerly known as Teespring, was one of the first companies to offer a way for social media creators to sell custom merchandise like hoodies, phone cases and hats to their fans.