In April, Facebook announced a series of planned investments in new audio products, including live audio competitor Clubhouse and new podcast support. Today, Facebook officially launched these products, in the United States launched the iOS version of Live Audio Rooms, first of all, public figures and selected Facebook groups, and the debut of the first batch of American podcast partners.
It will be open to any public figures or verified American creators who sync with Facebook and use their personal data or the new Facebook page experience on iOS. We learned that for Facebook groups, this feature would activate “dozens of groups.” As more people, podcasts and groups join, these two products will become more available in the coming weeks and months. At the same time, starting this week, 100% of Facebook users in the US will listen to live audio studios and podcasts. Like Clubhouse or similar audio applications, Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms provides a set of standard features.
The circular profile icon at the top of the screen, while the listener appears as a smaller icon in the lower half of the screen. The speaker of the event is indicated by a bright ring. If verified, a checkmark will also appear next to your name. There are also options to enable real-time subtitles, a “hand up” tool to request speech, and a tool to share rooms with other people on Facebook through news feeds or groups, etc. In some places, Facebook handles it slightly differently than others different. For example, the host can invite people to join them as lecturers before the meeting starts, or they can select listeners to join them during the broadcast.
Facebook stated that each meeting could have up to 50 speakers, and there is no limit to the number of listeners. During the session, users will also receive notifications when friends or followers join the chat.
While listening, users can use the “thumbs up” button at the bottom of the screen to “like” or react to the content being played, which connects you to a set of Facebook emoji reactions. With the official launch today, listeners can now also express their support for public figures in the live broadcast room by submitting “stars.” These stars can be purchased and used at any time during the conversation, similar to how they are used with other Facebook Live content. By submitting stars, the audience will move to the “front row,” a special section that highlights the person who submitted the stars. This allows event organizers to easily identify their supporters and even yell during the event if they wish.
Another new feature allows the host to choose a non-profit organization or fundraiser to support during the conversation, and listeners and speakers can directly donate. The progress bar will show how much it has improved during the procedure. At the same time, for Facebook groups, the administrator can control whether the moderator, group members, or other administrators can create a live audio room.
Both members and guests can listen to the room in a public group, but the room is restricted to group members in a private group. Facebook users receive reminders of all new live audio rooms through newsletters and notifications. They can register to receive a reminder that the room they are interested in is activated when a problem occurs. If available, Facebook groups will also provide live audio rooms.