We’ve heard their plans for it and we’ve seen some leaks about it as well. Facebook is going for a push for “social audio experiences” to its platform and now, we’re seeing the official roll out of two of its products: Live Audio Rooms and Podcasts. The former is the Clubhouse-like experience that lets you discover, listen in on, and join live conversations happening with experts, personalities, and public figures. The latter brings the podcast-listening experience to the platform without having to switch to a different app.
Live Audio Rooms is now, well, live on Facebook. Selected public figures can start hosting their rooms and have conversations with anyone they want to invite in, whether they’re friends, followers, other public figures, or any of the listeners who have joined the room. You can have as many as 50 speakers but for listeners, you can have as many as you want. For Facebook Groups, public groups can have anyone listen in on the Live Audio Room but for private Groups, only those that are members can listen in.
Hosts of the rooms can also use this as a fundraiser so listeners and speakers can directly donate to the nonprofit they’ve chosen. Users can join Live Audio Rooms from their News Feed, through notifications, or by signing up for a reminder when a room you like goes live. They can also discover and join within Facebook Groups. While listening, you will see when friends or followers come in, you can enable live captions, send live reactions, and raise a hand to request to join the conversation.
Meanwhile, Podcasts will enable you to listen to podcast shows while you’re browsing on Facebook. You do this through a mini player or full-screen player experience with playback options and you can even have your phone display turned off to save battery. Users will be able to listen from select podcast creators from their Facebook Pages, and through their news feed. Later on, they’ll add features like captions and creating short, shareable clips from a podcast episode.
Both Live Audio Room and Podcasts are rolling out ot the U.S only for now. Facebook has partnered with some public figures for Live Audio Rooms and they’re encouraging users to discover them first and listen and eventually join. Podcasts also have an initial slate and they’ll be adding more in the next few weeks.