Facebook becomes Clubhouse's biggest challenger as it launches Live Audio Rooms, will be rolling out podcasts next
Facebook has started rolling out its Clubhouse clone, called Live Audio Rooms. Bringing the competition right to Clubhouse, Live Audio Rooms on Facebook will let users join and listen to live conversations. For starters, only public figures and some select Facebook groups on iOS will be able to create Live Audio Rooms, but users from both Android and iOS devices can join these rooms. This service of being able to create Live Audio Rooms is also restricted to the US for now.
Live Audio Room hosts can invite up to 50 speakers to the conversation. The initial set of creators include TOKiMONSTA (Grammy-nominated electronic music artist), American football quarterback Russell Wilson, and scholar-activist Rosa Clemente. While only 50 people can be invited as speakers on Live Audio Rooms, there is no limit to how many people can listen in (Clubhouse has a limit). Also, both members and listeners can listen to the rooms in public groups, but for private groups, only members will be allowed.
Users can find these Live Audio Rooms via their News Feed and through Facebook notifications. You can also set reminders to let you know once a room goes live. Much like Clubhouse, there is a “raise a hand” button for people when they want to speak and there are notifications you receive when your friends or followers join the chat. There is also a live caption feature on Live Audio Rooms that is not there in Clubhouse.
Additionally, to compete better in the audio market and even take on the likes of Apple and Spotify, Facebook has started adding podcasts to the platform. Users can listen to these podcasts while scrolling through Facebook “via a mini or full-screen player”. You can find the podcasts on the creators’ Facebook Pages and on the News Feed. There is also an option for users to listen to a podcast while the screen is off. For starters, there aren’t too many podcasts on the collection, but Facebook is going to be adding more soon, as they have announced.