Facebook Takes on Clubhouse With Live Audio Rooms and Podcasts

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 21 Jun 2021

Facebook Live Audio Rooms

Facebook is rolling out its own Clubhouse competitor ‘Live Audio Rooms’ today. Live Audio Rooms is available on iOS starting today but will be limited to a select group of users for now. Along with its Clubhouse clone, Facebook is also rolling out podcasts in its app.

Live Audio Rooms

Live Audio Rooms is pretty much a copycat of Clubhouse, with some Facebook essentials like ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons. Live Audio Rooms can initially be created by only public figures, verified people, and groups in the United States. That too, only on iOS. It works pretty much like Twitter Spaces where people can create an audio room, and invite others to listen.

There can be a maximum of 50 speakers in an Audio Room. There’s no limit on the number of listeners. Facebook has also added a live caption feature in its Clubhouse competitor.

In Facebook Groups, admins can control who and who can’t create an Audio Room. There can also be a ‘Private Audio Room’ within a Facebook Group for a select number of people. Facebook users can turn on notifications for scheduled Audio Rooms, and even for when your favorite creator starts an Audio Room.

One of the distinguishing features of the Audio Rooms is the Front Row. Listeners can send ‘stars’ to the room creator, and sending these stars will bump the user to the Front Row. This is a section where a host can recognize his/her top supporters. It works pretty much like YouTube Super Chat and listeners will have to buy these star packs to send them to the host.

Facebook Podcasts

facebook podcast

Along with Live Audio Rooms, Facebook is also rolling out Podcasts in its app. Initially, only a select number of podcasts will be available on Facebook. 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 says a number of podcasts will be added in the summer. It also plans to introduce features like ‘short podcast clips’ and captions to the podcasts.

People can continue using Facebook while listening to podcasts. The podcast will shrink into a mini player giving users some control like play and pause. And yes, obviously, you can like, share, comment, and bookmark podcasts as well.

Facebook has been introducing features to take on Clubhouse. Earlier in April, the company introduced a number of features to take on Clubhouse. Are you excited about Facebook entering the social audio feed market? What are your thoughts on Facebook Live Audio Rooms? Let us know in the comments section below!

[Via Facebook]