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(.) – Facebook launched its own Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way to find and stream podcasts on its platform on Monday, marking an audio boost from the world’s largest social network.
Facebook’s launch of a potential rival to Clubhouse follows the explosive initial success of the live audio-on-invite app, which became a hit when people stayed home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been one of the Silicon Valley celebrities to make appearances on the app, which has recently been extended to Android users.
Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a “first-class medium” on its platforms, joins Twitter and the Discord messaging platform that have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify released its own version, “Greenroom”, last Wednesday. Slack, LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft Corp, and Reddit are also working on similar products.
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How will Facebook audio rooms work?
Public figures and certain Facebook groups in the United States using iOS will be able to create live audio rooms, with up to 50 speakers and unlimited listeners. These users will also be able to invite people who do not have a “verified badge,” Facebook said in a blog post. IOS and Android users will be able to listen to the rooms.
The company, which has been very active in its efforts to attract content creators, has said that it is partnering with public figures, such as musicians, journalists and athletes, in launching the live audio rooms.
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Listeners will be able to send “stars”, Facebook’s virtual currency, to creators in live audio rooms. Zuckerberg has said the company won’t take a share of the creators’ revenue until 2023.
A series of select podcasts will also be available on Facebook for American listeners, and the company said it would be joining the offering soon.
Facebook, which has been criticized for managing problematic content across all of its products, will face the challenges of moderating live and recorded audio content, even in private Facebook groups.
The firm is also working on a project with Spotify to share and listen to music on the platform.