After a series of internal and public tests, Facebook has rolled out Live Audio Rooms and podcasts to add social audio experiences on Facebook and keep up with the growing popularity of audio-based social networks, and features.
The features are in the initial phase of its mass rollout, and Live Audio Rooms can currently only be created on iOS. Public figures and select Facebook Groups would have access to the creation of audio rooms. Both experiences are presently only available in the US and will be expanded to more public figures and Groups in the coming months.
The experiences are a part of Facebook's investment in audio technologies such as audio quality enhancements, captions, speech translations, sound effects, and more to develop these social experiences supported by audio creation tools and features. Sound Studio and Soundbites are a few other experiences recently launched.
Live Audio Rooms
Live Audio Rooms will be available to everyone on Facebook and Messenger in a few months. Users will be able to engage in discussions and conversations on topics they are interested in, in real-time. Live Audio Rooms are similar to the ones launched on Clubhouse and can host up to fifty speakers, and unlimited listeners. The rooms would surface in the News Feed, or via notifications.
Public figures would have the ability to invite friends, followers, verified public figures, or listeners in the room to be a speaker. The host can invite speakers in advance or during the conversation.
In Rooms hosted by Groups, admins can grant access to moderators, group members, or other admins, for the creation of Groups. Public Groups would allow visitors to be a part of the Room, but Private Groups would only host members.
The Rooms can also host and support a fundraiser, wherein listeners and speakers would be able to donate.
Users would be able to listen to podcasts without leaving the app or when the app is open in the background. Recommendations based on the user’s interests on Facebook would help the users discover relevant podcasts.
The podcasts can be played via a mini player or full-screen player experience with playback options, including with their phone display turned off. Podcasts can be browsed through creators' Facebook Pages and News Feed, the platform has also launched an initial slate of podcasts.