Facebook has released Live Audio Rooms, its take on Clubhouse in the United States. Clubhouse, in recent times, received a surge in popularity, and with it came a horde of other Live Audio apps. Facebook did test Hotline earlier, a platform like Clubhouse, however, with additional support for video. And now we are seeing what it calls the “Live Audio Rooms” together with Podcast.
Fidji Simo, Head of the Facebook app made the announcement on the official Newsroom stating live rooms as new integration to the audio product line from the company. Facebook announced the same in Q1 2021.
On iOS, Facebook allows public figures and Facebook groups to create audio rooms on different topics, hence respective followers and members can join them and hear the live conversations.
For instance, hosts can use Live Audio Rooms to create fundraiser sessions and both admins and speakers are able to donate from Facebook itself.
The user interface is no different too. If you have ever used Clubhouse, you will notice. The hosts live at the top and the speakers right underneath. Below is a front-row with listeners that send “Stars” to hosts. Facebook introduces “Stars” as emoji elements that can be purchased and sent to a host to display support.
Users are able to use the “raise a hand” feature to take part in the live conversation while use real-time reactions to give opinions. The live audio rooms can be found right on the newsfeed as well as in groups. Users, on the other hand, can sign up for notifications of every audio room from desired public figure or group. Facebook also sends notifications if a friend has joined a room.
Facebook already announced a few public figures including independent journalist and scholar-activist Rosa Clemente, Grammy-nominated electronic music artist TOKiMONSTA while Joe Budden, Lisa Morales Duke, Kehlani, and others will be added in the days to come.
For now, Facebook has rolled out Live Audio Rooms to select public figures and groups, specific to the iOS platform in the United States. Facebook says it will gradually roll out to other regions including Nepal, India, the Philippines, and Canada to name some.
But there’s more to come from Facebook, one of which includes Soundbites, which is said to be a creative short-form audio clip feature. Its test is slated to commence soon.