Facebook has been working for a Clubhouse competitor and now it has officially launched the product. Called Live Audio Rooms, the feature is currently rolling out to verified accounts in the US, selected Facebook Groups, and an initial set of U.S. podcast partners. The feature will also be available on iOS first.
The company says that the feature will be available to any verified public figure or creator in the U.S. who’s in good standing with Facebook and is using either a profile or the new Facebook Pages experience on iOS. Regarding Groups, the feature is coming to “dozens of groups.”
Both the Podcasts and Live Audio Rooms features will be available to more people in the coming weeks as more audience is brought on board. Meanwhile, in order to listen, 100% of Facebook users will be able to do so.
The features of Live Audio Rooms are quite similar to what we have seen on Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. The host of the event appears on the rounded profile icons at the top of the screen. This is followed by the people who are not speaking but are followed by the speakers. And lastly, we have the audience.
The active speaker is indicated with a glowing ring. Just like across Facebook, a blue tick will also appear beside their name if they are verified. There are also tools that enable live captions, the ability to raise hands, and tools to share the room across Facebook.
Alongside Audio Rooms, Facebook is also launching support for Podcasts on its platform. These include Joe Budden of The Joe Budden Podcast; “Jess Hilarious” of Carefully Reckless from The Black Effect Podcast Network and iHeartRadio; Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin, and Jac Vanek of The LadyGang; and Nicaila Matthews Okome of Side Hustle Pro. Facebook will open up to other podcasters this summer.
“I think the areas where I’m most excited about it on Facebook are basically in the large number of communities and groups that exist,” Zuckerberg had told Platformer, at the time of the original announcement. “I think that you already have these communities that are organized around interests, and allowing people to come together and have rooms where they can talk is — I think it’d be a very useful thing,” he added.
Facebook will expand both of these products globally in the next few months.