In April month, Facebook officially announced that it is working on new audio products. Clubhouse like live audio rooms and podcasts were some of the major features among them. Recently, Facebook has started rolling out live audio rooms feature in the US on the iOS platform.
Facebook Launches Live Audio Rooms Feature
Social audio products’ war is on among big players including Twitter, Facebook, and Clubhouse. Recently, Facebook has intensified audio-based product competition after launching live audio rooms and podcast support for US users who have an iOS platform.
But the Live Audio Rooms are not available for everyone in the US. As per the Facebook official statement, the feature is right now available only for the verified creator and public figures.
Both products will take around one week to a month to reach normal users. From this week, US users will be able to listen to the discussions happening in the live audio rooms.
Two days back, Facebook also tested the live audio rooms feature in Taiwan. Internally, Facebook employees have been given the access to Live Audio Rooms feature and their testing will continue in the future as well.
Before launching the audio product, Mark Zuckerberg did the first trial and hosted the live audio rooms with Facebook executives and few gaming experts.
Talking about the launched products, Zuckerberg said:
“I think the areas where I’m most excited about it on Facebook are basically in a large number of communities and groups that exist.”
He further added:
“I think that you already have these communities that are organized around interests, and allowing people to come together and have rooms where they can talk is — I think it’d be a very useful thing.”
Key Features of the Live Audio Rooms and Podcast
Most of the features included in Facebook’s Live Audio Room are the same as Clubhouse features. But, Facebook also introduced a few unique sets of functionalities that give an upper hand to Facebook against its rivals.
In Live Video Rooms, the host profile will appear as a circle on the top, whereas the listeners’ profile will be represented by a smaller circle. Active speaker ring will glow, whereas a verified user’s profile will be having a check next to their names.
Users can share Room links via news feed or group posts.
In Facebook, hosts can invite people as a speaker in advance, that is not available in Clubhouse. Maximum 50 speakers can participate in a live room, whereas there is no upper limit on the number of listeners.
Facebook has provided a unique feature called ‘Star’. It can be bought during the conversations and listeners can send stars to the hosts. As soon as a user sends a Star, he/she will be taken to the front row and the event organizer can also shout out to such listeners.
By sending Stars, the listener is bumped up to the “Front Row,” a special section that highlights the people who sent the Stars. This allows the event’s hosts to easily recognize their supporters and even give them a shout out during the event if they choose.
Facebook also allows fundraising activities to NGOs and other special causes. A fundraising bar will be shown on the group to know the progress of the funding like how much money is raised.
Among the initial set of early adopters for Facebook Live Audio Rooms is Grammy-nominated electronic music artist TOKiMONSTA; American football quarterback Russell Wilson; organizer, producer and independent journalist Rosa Clemente; streamer and digital entertainer Omareloff; and social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen.
Along with the living audio room feature, Facebook has also launched Podcast for its users. The company has sent the joining letters to known podcasters so that their podcasts will be available for Facebook users.
Users can listen to these podcasts via a mini audio player or a full-screen player. The users also have the option to listen to these podcasts in the background and they can continue other tasks as well.