Facebook is now rolling out Live Audio Rooms, its own competitor for the audio chat app Clubhouse. Facebook says the feature is rolling out in the US on Monday. Public figures and select Facebook Groups in the US can create Live Audio Rooms on iOS, and select podcasts will be available to listeners in the US.
The company says that it will expand the ability for more public figures and Groups to host a Live Audio Room in the coming weeks and introduce new features for both experiences in the coming months.
Live Audio Rooms on Facebook enable you to discover, listen in, and join live conversations with public figures, experts, and others about topics you’re interested in. 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. There can be up to 50 speakers, and there’s no limit to the number of listeners.
“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”, read the blog post.
People on iOS and Android can discover Live Audio Rooms to join from news feed and notifications. You can also sign up to be reminded when a Live Audio Room you’re interested in goes live. Likewise, when listening to a conversation, you’ll be notified when friends or followers join, too.
You can enable live captions, “raise a hand”, request to join the conversation and use reactions to participate in real-time. Listeners can also offer support and show appreciation 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 a special section that highlights people who sent Stars so that hosts can recognize supporters. Additionally, you’ll be able to discover and join Live Audio Rooms within Facebook Groups.
Facebook has partnered with public figures such as TOKiMONSTA, Russel Wilson, Rosa Clemente, etc., to roll out Live Audio Rooms. While browsing Facebook, people can listen to podcasts via a mini player or full-screen player experience with playback options, including with their phone display turned off. In addition, people can listen to select podcast creators on their Facebook Pages, as well as in News Feed.
Facebook also said that it rolls out additional features, like captions and the ability to create and share short clips of a podcast later this year.