Facebook rolls out Live Audio Rooms and podcasts
Facebook has announced that it is rolling out Live Audio Rooms and podcasts. With these features, public figures and select Facebook Groups can create Live Audio Rooms on iOS and choose podcasts available to listeners in the US.
According to the platform, in the coming weeks, Facebook will expand the ability for more public figures and Groups to host a Live Audio Room and introduce new features for both experiences in the coming months.
The Live Audio Rooms on Facebook will enable users to discover, listen, and join live conversations with public figures, experts, and others about topics. Moreover, public figures can invite friends, followers, verified public figures, or any listeners in the room to be a speaker. The host can invite speakers in advance or during the conversation. Plus, there can be up to 50 speakers, and there’s no limit to the number of listeners.
Meanwhile, in Groups, admins can control whether moderators, group members, or other admins can create a Live Audio Room. In public Groups, both members and visitors can listen to the Live Audio Room, but in private Groups, only members can listen.
What’s more, Live Audio Room hosts can also select a nonprofit or fundraiser to support during their conversation, and listeners and speakers can directly donate.
iOS and Android users can discover Live Audio Rooms to join from news feeds and notifications. Users can also sign up to be reminded when a Live Audio Room they’re interested in goes live. When listening to a conversation, users will also be notified when friends or followers join, too. Users can also enable live captions, “raise a hand,” to request to join the conversation and use reactions to participate in real-time.
Listeners can also offer support to the public figure host of the Live Audio Room by sending Stars, which bumps those listeners up to the “front row.” The “front row” is identified as a special section highlighting people who sent Stars so that hosts can recognize supporters. Listeners can also purchase Stars packs during the conversation and send them anytime.
Furthermore, Facebook has partnered with some public figures to roll out Live Audio Rooms, including TOKiMONSTA, Russell Wilson, Rosa Clemente, Omareloff, and Amanda Nguyen. In addition, you can expect to see Live Audio Rooms from other public figures too, including D Smoke, Kehlani, Reggie Watts, and Lisa Morales Duke, to Dr. Jess, Bobby Berk, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Joe Budden, and DeRay Mckesson.
Additionally, users will be able to discover and join Live Audio Rooms within Facebook Groups.
On the other hand, the initial slate of podcasts will include Joe Budden of The Joe Budden Podcast; “Jess Hilarious” of Carefully Reckless from The Black Effect Podcast Network and iHeartRadio; Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, and Jac Vanek of the LadyGang; and Nicaila Matthews Okome of Side Hustle Pro. Facebook also revealed to continue adding more podcasts in the coming weeks.
Users may also listen to podcasts while browsing Facebook, via a miniplayer or full-screen player experience with playback options, including with their phone display turned off. People can also listen to select podcast creators on their Facebook Pages, as well as in News Feed.
Later this summer, the platform will roll out additional features, such as captions and the ability to create and share short clips of a podcast.
According to Facebook, Live Audio Rooms and podcasts rolling out in the US is just the beginning of their audio journey. However, there’s no word yet about the availability of these features in other countries.