Facebook launches Live Audio Rooms feature to ride the Clubhouse wave

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Social media giant Facebook has revealed that it is developing a new feature called Live Audio Rooms, which is a version of the popular Clubhouse app and enables users to listen to and participate in live audio conversations.

According to a blog post by Facebook, which is run by Mark Zuckerberg, the feature will be available to all by this summer. To begin, Facebook intends to test the feature with a selected group and public figures. The audio feature will eventually be added to Facebook Messenger.

The company said that the concept behind Live Audio Rooms is to host audio discussions and capture and distribute your conversations. It also mentioned that users would be able to charge others to access their Live Audio Rooms on a subscription or one-time fee. Facebook is introducing an audio creator fund to “support emerging audio creators” to enable more people to use its Live Audio Rooms feature.

Facebook Live Audio

It’s not shocking to see Facebook working on a similar audio feature that made Clubhouse become the world’s fastest-growing audio social network. The rise of Clubhouse has resulted in the emergence of a slew of live audio drop-in social networks. During the pandemic, audio social networks grew in popularity.

Facebook has also announced one more audio product called Soundbites. In essence, the latest audio product allows you to make and share short-form clips. This is similar to TikTok, but with the addition of audio clips. Soundbites will be available in the main news feed, with users able to record them in a separate tool within Facebook.

The company touts “Soundbites” as a “sound studio in your pocket.” In the coming months, it plans to test this feature with a small group of developers.

Additionally, Facebook will also allow users to listen to podcasts directly from the main Facebook app. It said that over 170 million people on Facebook are connected to a page that’s linked to a particular podcast, and over 35 million people are members of podcast fan groups.

Facebook also announced a collaboration with Spotify, the world’s most popular music streaming service. Users will be able to easily play music within the social network due to a recent partnership with Spotify. Internally, the integration is known as “Project Boombox.”

Related: COVID-19 spurred the significance of online communities: Facebook