According to the latest news, Facebook has started rolling out its Clubhouse competitor, Live Audio Rooms in the US. Today, Facebook announced that some US-based public figures and groups will be able to start hosting rooms through the main Facebook iOS app but people will be able to join from both iOS and Android. In the app, anyone can be invited up as a speaker. As many as 50 people will be able to speak at a time. As of now, there is no cap on the number of listeners.
Facebook has integrated the new offering with other nifty features such as notifications when your friends or followers join a room. There will be a “raise a hand” button to request to join a conversation. In the group, the admin will be able to control eligibility to create a room. Public group chats will be accessible from both in and outside the group but private group chats will be restricted to members.
Facebook is also making podcasts available on the platform. People will be able to listen to podcasts with various innovative playback controls such as the ability to listen while the screen is off. Users can find a podcast on individual creators’ Pages as well as in the News Feed. The podcasts can be reacted to, commented on, bookmarked, and shared. Facebook said it is planning to roll out an automatic captioning feature by this summer.
Interestingly, all these features come just days after Spotify audio app Greenroom became live, three months after Stage Channels came to Discord, four months after Reddit Talk; seven months after Twitter Spaces, and around 15 months after Clubhouse. It is to be noted that LinkedIn and Slack are also working on their own versions of an audio product.
It seems Facebook is hoping to cast a broader number of influencers with its Live Audio Rooms offering. Public figures like TOKiMONSTA, D Smoke, Kehlani, Joe Budden, DeRay Mckesson, Russell Wilson, Omareloff featured on launch. Facebook is claiming Joe Bidden will also distribute his podcast through Facebook.