Facebook rolls out new audio products including a live audio competitor from Clubhouse as well as new support for podcasts, with Live Audio Rooms launching in the US on iOS, starting with public figures and choosing Facebook Groups, and an initial set of audio-streaming partners appearing in the US, The series was planned and announced last April, according to TechCrunch.
The company said the live audio rooms will be available to any public figure or content creator in the United States who has a good reputation with Facebook and uses either a profile or experience the new Facebook Pages on iOS. For Facebook groups, the feature is launching with “dozens of groups,” we’re told.
Both products will become widely available in the coming weeks and months, as more people, podcasts, and groups are brought in. Meanwhile, 100% of Facebook users in the US will be able to listen to Live Audio Rooms and podcasts starting this week.
Facebook Live Audio Rooms offer a standard set of features, as do Clubhouse or similar audio apps.
Event hosts appear in round profile icons at the top of the screen, while listeners appear in the lower half of the screen, as smaller icons. The active speaker is indicated by a glowing ring. If verified, Verify will appear next to its name as well.
There are also options to enable live captions, a “raise a hand” tool to ask to speak, and tools to share the room with others on Facebook, through things like news feed or group posts.
Facebook does things a little differently than others in some places. For example, hosts can invite people to join them as speakers before a session, or they can choose in-stream listeners to join them. In each session, there can be up to 50 speakers and there is no limit to the number of listeners, Facebook says.
During the session, users will be notified when friends or followers join the chat as well.
While listening, users can “like” or reply to the content as it is broadcast using the “thumbs up” button at the bottom of the screen which connects you to the emoji reaction set on Facebook.