Facebook officially launches Live Audio Rooms, Podcasts

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Facebook Live Audio Room
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The American social media giant Facebook is finally rolling out Live Audio Rooms as well as Podcasts.

However, for the time being, the service is only available to people in the US who own an iOS smartphone. Furthermore, Facebook is only allowing public figures and select Facebook Groups to create Live Audio Rooms.

Facebook said in a blog post that “in the coming weeks, we’ll expand the ability for more public figures and Groups to host a Live Audio Room and introduce new features for both experiences in the coming months.”

Those hosting a Live Audio Room will be able to choose a nonprofit or fundraiser to support during their talk, and Facebook said that “listeners and speakers can directly donate.”

In a live audio session, Facebook allows the host to add up to 50 speakers. Furthermore, anyone can join any live audio room because there is no limit to the number of listeners.

Facebook stated that “public figures can invite friends, followers, verified public figures, or any listeners in the room to be a speaker. The host can invite speakers in advance or during the conversation.” Live Audio Rooms can be found in places like News Feed and via notifications.

The company said that users can also sign up to be notified when a Live Audio Room you’re interested in goes live. “When listening to a conversation, you’ll be notified when friends or followers join, too,” Facebook added.

Listeners will get an option to enable live captions, and there will also be a “raise a hand” button to request to join the live conversation. One will also be able to use reactions to participate in real-time.

While browsing Facebook, users will be able to listen to podcasts via a mini player or full-screen player with playback choices, including with their phone display turned off.

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