Facebook is constantly on the cutting edge of new advancements in their app and keeping their users engaged. The audio space is no exception.
Podcasts and audio rooms have become increasingly popular over the past few years with tons of celebrities and influencers creating their own podcasts. These podcasts can speak about a variety of different topics such as comedy, mystery, beauty, business, and so much more. Facebook recently launched their new audio products on the app: Live Audio Rooms and an initial set of podcast partners. This will introduce a whole new set of possible consumers and interests that can bring more opportunities to Facebook and its users.
Live Audio Rooms
Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms will be similar to the new audio app Clubhouse and will feature a large variety of speakers. Hosts will appear in a profile icon at the top of the screen and the listeners will be listed
at the bottom half of the screen. There will be opportunities for listener interaction with live captions and a “raise hand” tool to request to speak and the number of listeners allowed is unlimited with a maximum of 50 speakers, both verified and regular users included! The hosts can invite other people to join as a speaker or encourage listeners to be speakers during the session. Also, users can be notified if any of their friends or followers join the chat. Users will have more room for interactivity through different buttons on the screen such as a “Like”, “Thumbs Up”, and “Stars” button. Stars can be purchased during the session as a show of support to the speakers and the listener will then be bumped up to the top so they can be recognized by the speakers for their support. There are private and public rooms and users will be alerted to these rooms via News Feed and Notifications. Some of the earliest adopters for the Audio Rooms include Russel Wilson, Kehlani, TOKiMONSTA, and more.
The podcast experience lets users listen to podcasts as they browse Facebook in a full-screen or miniplayers screen, or even if the phone’s display is off to provide a relaxed, easy-going listening experience. The podcast features on the app makes Facebook stand out because users don't need another service to access podcasts like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. You can scroll through Facebook while listening to your favorite podcasts! Podcasts page owners go through a process to set up their show on Facebook per instructions by Facebook and are able to link their podcast’s RSS feed to generate News Feed posts for each episode. They are also featured on the “podcasts” tab on their Page. Later this summer, Facebook will allow the ability to create and share short clips from a podcast and the Soundbites feature will launch later in 2021. Not only will this bring more attention to Facebook, but provide an even larger outlet for creators to share their stories!
There are many more audio features to be announced in the future and tons more that are being worked on right now. Facebook is a competitor and is looking to take over many aspects of the audio and video features that consume our current lives. These features will also greatly help creators that have been impacted by COVID-19 and provide the much needed interaction we are all in need of more than ever. The Live Audio Rooms and Podcasts will be a huge step forward into this new space and provide more access than ever to combine many entertainment outlets all in one app!