Facebook is introducing Live Audio Rooms as part of a series of new audio experiences on their platform.
Facebook has announced it will roll out a series of audio features in the next few months.
This includes Live Audio Rooms, its version of the Clubhouse app, which will enable people to start up audio rooms that their connections can join. This will be highlighted at the top of News Feeds and chats within each app.
The new option will have a Clubhouse-like format, with hosts highlighted at the top of the screen, and listeners tuning in shown below. Users will be able to make their rooms public or private, while they’ll also be discoverable in a separate Rooms tab.
Creators will also be able to monetise their Rooms, via Facebook’s Stars donation system, while it’s also working on additional monetization models, “like the ability to charge for access to a Live Audio Room through a single purchase or a subscription”.
In addition to this, Facebook says that creators will also be able to turn a live conversation into a podcast for everyone to listen to later, providing more ways to use the content.
Facebook will also launch a new feature, Soundbites, where users can create and share short audio clips.
The feature will be launched over the next few months, at first with a small number of creators.
Facebook rooms will also initially be made available to public figures, with a broader rollout coming in the summer.
In addition to this, Facebook is also launching a new tool called ‘Soundbites’, which will enable users to create short-form audio clips using a range of effects and tools.
The new tool will showcase Facebook’s various advances in audio tech – as explained by Facebook’s Fidji Simo in a blog post: “Through our advances in AI, we can make audio quality magically great – even if you record on a busy street corner. You will be able to use music from Facebook’s Sound Collection in the background of your story to set the tone. And with the ability to mix audio tracks, a growing collection of sound effects, voice effects and filters, it should be a lot of fun too.”
The option will eventually enable users to post their own audio clips to Facebook, in a whole new format.
Simo added: “Audio seamlessly fits within our busy lives, allows us to be inspired by new ideas, and talk with other like-minded people without pressure.”
Facebook says it will start testing Soundbites over the next few months.
Users will be able to make money in the Live Audio Rooms or with Soundbites, though it’s unclear if this will be available to anyone or just reserved for creators with large followings.
Facebook’s also looking to tap into podcasts more specifically, with the launch of new podcast listening and discovery tools in the app.
As explained in the blog post: “Within the next few months, you’ll be able to listen to podcasts directly on the Facebook app – both while using the app or when the app is backgrounded. And because it’s still hard to discover podcasts you like, we will help you easily find new podcasts and episodes based on your interests, comment on them and recommend them to your friends.”
And podcast creators will be able to reach and connect with new listeners — all directly within the Facebook app.