Today we’re rolling out Live Audio Rooms and podcasts, as part of our plans to bring social audio experiences to Facebook. Public figures and select Facebook Groups in the US can create Live Audio Rooms on iOS, and select podcasts will be available to listeners in the US. 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.
Live Audio Rooms
Live Audio Rooms on Facebook enable you to discover, listen in on and join live conversations with public figures, experts and others about topics you’re interested in. 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. There can be up to 50 speakers, and there’s no limit to the number of listeners.
In Groups, admins can control whether moderators, group members or other admins can create a Live Audio Room. In public Groups, both members and visitors can listen to the Live Audio Room, but in private Groups, only members can listen.
Live Audio Room hosts can also select a nonprofit or fundraiser to support during their conversation, and listeners and speakers can directly donate.
People on iOS and Android can discover Live Audio Rooms to join from places like News Feed and via notifications. You can also sign up to be reminded 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. You can enable live captions, “raise a hand” to request to join the conversation, and use reactions to participate in real time.
Listeners can also offer support and show appreciation to the public figure host of the Live Audio Room by sending Stars, which bumps those listeners up to the “front row.” The “front row” is a special section that highlights people who sent Stars, so hosts can recognize supporters (and maybe even give them a shout out during the conversation!). Listeners can purchase Stars packs during the conversation and send them anytime.
Discover Conversations About Topics You Care About
We’ve partnered with some incredible public figures to roll out Live Audio Rooms. Here’s a preview of some key creators and topics, with more coming soon:
- Grammy-nominated electronic music artist TOKiMONSTA will discuss female excellence and overcoming obstacles
- American football quarterback Russell Wilson will talk about how to train your mind like an elite athlete
- Organizer, producer, independent journalist and scholar-activist Rosa Clemente will host a discussion around affirming Blackness in the Latinx community
- Hear what it’s like to live the life of a professional esports player in a Live Audio Room hosted by streamer, entertainer, and internet personality Omareloff
- Social entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen will speak with fellow changemakers about pursuing justice and making progress in an extraordinarily polarized time
And that’s just the beginning. You can expect to see Live Audio Rooms from other public figures, too, from D Smoke, Kehlani, Reggie Watts, and Lisa Morales Duke, to Dr. Jess, Bobby Berk, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Joe Budden, and DeRay Mckesson.
Additionally, you’ll be able to discover and join Live Audio Rooms within Facebook Groups. There will be conversations ranging a variety of topics from learning how dance can help your mental health with the Dance Accepts Everyone group, to finding the best vegan spots across America in a conversation with the Vegan Soul Food group. You can even join a guided meditation within the Meditation Matters group. There will also be Live Audio Rooms hosted by groups like Pow Wow Nation, OctoNation® – The Largest Octopus Fan Club!, and Space Hipsters.
No matter what you’re passionate about, there’s a Live Audio Room waiting for you.
To start, the initial slate of podcasts will 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. We’ll continue to add more podcasts in the coming weeks.
People can listen to podcasts while browsing Facebook, via a miniplayer or full-screen player experience with playback options, including with their phone display turned off. People can listen to select podcast creators on their Facebook Pages, as well as in News Feed. You’ll have access to a diverse catalog of podcasts and be able to react to, comment, bookmark and share your favorite podcasts.
Later this summer, we’ll roll out additional features, like captions and the ability to create and share short clips of a podcast. Over time, we’ll build more unique social experiences around podcasts that make use of Facebook’s best interactive and personalized features.
Live Audio Rooms and podcasts rolling out in the US is just the beginning of our audio journey. Looking ahead, we are working with creators who will use our audio tools to further develop and launch Soundbites — short-form, creative audio clips. We are excited to partner with this community to refine the Soundbites experience before it launches later this year. We’ll also soon start testing our other audio products like the central listening destination and background audio listening for videos.