Facebook has rolled out its live audio room marking a push into social audio by the world’s largest social network. The service is currently only available in US and only select verified public figures will be able host the audio sessions for now. Facebook Live Audio is largely seen as the latest Clubhouse alternative.
The social media giant said it will allow public figures with verified accounts to host sessions using the new Facebook Pages experience. It is only limited to iOS users. Along with the Live Audio Rooms, Facebook has also announced that it would roll out Podcasts. A handful of podcasts will be available to people in the U.S. at first and the company plans to add more down the line. The move comes as the company plans to keep users engaged on its platform and to compete with emerging rivals.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has appeared on the video streaming app Clubhouse in the past, hosted his own live audio room on his Facebook page last week. “Live Audio Rooms and podcasts rolling out in the US is just the beginning of our audio journey,” wrote Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, in a blog post Monday. “Looking ahead, we are working with creators who will use our audio tools to further develop and launch Soundbites — short-form, creative audio clips.”
A user can go live and talk in a voice-only format using the audio streaming service. The followers and other Facebook users can join in as listeners, after the users invite them to speak.
Facebook, which announced its audio plans to push into audio streams in April, says its rules apply to live audio and podcasts and anyone can report offending material.
“In addition, our broader integrity and safety work and the tools we have built for proactively and automatically identifying harmful content are great building blocks, but we plan to adapt tech and processes as we learn more,” the company said in a prepared statement.