Facebook reportedly revealed in a blog post that it is experimenting with a new audio feature for its Groups — a voice chat feature similar to Discord. Facebook has previously provided in-room audio capabilities for groups. But unlike the new feature, it’s designed for one-off audio chats, while audio channels are dedicated spaces where group members can talk to each other at any time, much like Discord.
The change is one of several updates the social network is testing. The company is also experimenting with other types of “channels,” which are like subgroups within each Facebook group where members can discuss specific topics.
Facebook is also testing a new sidebar, which will make groups for all users more prominent in its app, with dedicated shortcuts for creating new chat channels. Currently, all of these features are in beta and only available to a small group of users, but the company plans to roll out these new features to more users over time.
The updates come as Facebook considers changes to its main app. The company is working on a broader redesign that will reposition users’ information around AI-driven recommendations rather than their existing social graphs. Meanwhile, the new sidebar is to ensure that groups remain prominent and easily accessible when the app’s main feed changes.
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