June 18, 2021
Facebook voice clip status update

Facebook Spotted Testing Voice Clip Status Updates in the Wild

A Facebook voice clip status update option might soon become available as the feature enters limited testing, representing another way to reduce context collapse…

Context collapse is a serious problem at Facebook. For those unfamiliar, this is an ongoing phenomenon of people sharing less original content. Or, what the company internally calls a reduction in “original content broadcasting.” In fact, this trend has managed to cost Facebook its first-ever decline is usage (and a loss in its North American user base).

Facebook Voice Clip Status Update Test Spotted

To remedy the situation, the company has tried a number of ways to get users to share more organically. Most recently, it released a Lists feature. That followed a litany of other options, including a Q&A feature, a slew of memory collages, and more. (It’s also the reason for the colored status update backgrounds and the super large font for updates under 35 characters in length.)

Now, the social network is beginning to test a voice clip status update with a limited group of users in India: 

Facebook voice clip status update screenshot
Credit: Abhishek Saxena

The company confirmed the test to TechCrunch. “We’re 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.”

The new Facebook voice clip status update might indeed provide a boost where the social network needs it most. Original content broadcasting fell a full 21 percent in mid-2015, from a year earlier. As of mid-2016, it declined another 15 percent. Meanwhile, organic user content has shifted over to its subsidiary Instagram and rival Snapchat.

Facebook likely choose India as a test market for a couple of reasons. First, it’s an emerging country, so network connections aren’t as strong as developed markets. Second, there are twenty-two popular languages in the country, which makes typing out status updates a bit of a challenge.

This might prove a smart strategy given that voice is a natural communication method. Plus, it doesn’t include the many challenges of typing.