After launching the group video chat feature for the Messenger, Facebook has now launched Live Audio. Facebook has been striving to ensure that users get to post a lot of media and video which end up as consumables for the website. While Facebook Live has been garnering a fair share of attention Facebook understands that not everyone wants to show their face on the camera. It is for this reason that Facebook has started a new feature called Live Audio and this will allow broadcasters and other folks who prefer voice medium to start using Facebook for sharing their opinion.
That said this idea is not entirely out of the box and is somewhat similar to the Podcasts but again with the magnanimous reach that Facebook commands, Live Audio has a greater prospect of success. At this juncture, Facebook will start its pilot by allowing Publishers including BBC World Service, HarperCollins, and authors like Adam Grant and Brit Benett. Facebook is expected to extend the feature to more people from next year, just like what they did with the Live Video feature when it was first announced.
Facebook Live Audio is available on both iOS and Android but on iOS, one would be able to listen to the Live Broadcast whilst still accessing other parts of Facebook but the stream will stop on exiting the app. However, on Android, the stream will continue to play even after exiting the Facebook app and even when you have locked the phone, much like the other audio streaming services.
Facebook believes that the Live Audio feature will help in bringing activities like book readings, live audio content in news feed and also live song performances to the foreground. Also, since the audio streaming will obviously require lesser bandwidth one can use it to broadcast from areas with low connectivity. Another super useful feature is the ability to switch from Live Video to Live Audio if connectivity drops in midst of a live video broadcast one can switch to Live Audio and keep the broadcast going. It will be interesting to see how this feature will challenge the dominance of SoundCloud, iTunes, and other similar streaming services.