Social media company Facebook has finally launched Live Audio Rooms and podcasts after releasing plans to invest in audio products in April, reported Tech Crunch. The new feature will only be available for verified public figures in the United States and select groups on iOS.
These new features allow US-based verified users and certain groups can host audio rooms through the iOS Facebook app as per The Verge. Listeners can join iOS and Android applications. Anyone can receive an invitation to an audio room with up to 50 speakers.
Live Audio Rooms is designed to compete with the Korean social media app Clubhouse. To offer an advantage to users, Facebook removed restrictions on listener capacity, something that Clubhouse imposes.
Facebook also introduced new features such as notifications when friends or followers join the room, live captions, and a raise a hand button. The raise a hand button seeks to enable users to ask for an invite. Participants can react to a conversation and interact using the chat feature.
The social media’s new offering has an advantage over Clubhouse through the removal of maximum capacity and live captions. Meanwhile, Twitter Spaces already deployed this feature.
Live Audio Rooms lets administrators control who can create rooms and access group chats. Moderators, group members, and other administrators can do these aforementioned actions while having the ability to choose a non-profit organization or fundraiser to support.
Another new offering by the social media platform is Facebook Podcast, which seeks to ask podcast creators for approval to cache their content on Facebook’s servers. The purpose of this is to ensure that the podcasts do not have contents that violate their Community Standards.
Aside from ensuring compliance with Facebook’s policies, this feature lets users listen to podcasts through a built-in player complete with controls. Podcast creators’ Pages and the News Feed will help listeners find the content they want.
For added accessibility, the company said that it will add close captioning functions on Podcasts, as well as the option of a clip, which will allow users to create and share clips from their favorite content.
It is important to mention that the Podcast feature is different from the recently announced partnership with Spotify also concerning podcasts.
Aside from Facebook, Twitter, and Clubhouse, other platforms that created their own live services include Spotify, Discord, and Reddit. LinkedIn and Slack are said to be in the process of developing live talk platforms.