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Thursday, January 26, 2023

what are Facebook Live Audio Rooms and how they will work

The social network invests in audio and announces the arrival of a series of features by the summer to steal space from the app on invitations: also at work to make Spotify available directly on the feed

Facebook raises its shields and launches its own counter-offensive against Clubhouse . Just as it did in the past with Snapchat and TikTok , Menlo Park’s social strategy is clear: try to copy the same features that have been successful in the opponent’s app by incorporating them into the huge eco-system set up by Mark Zuckerberg . So, after months of work, Facebook has announced the arrival of a feature called Live Audio Rooms , which will be available worldwide over the summer. At first it will be exclusive to groups and public figures, but then it will be extended to all Messenger chats who will be able to open their own audio room to talk with friends, organize online debates or have real remote event sessions. Each user can then record the audio content and distribute it on the social network, choosing whether to make it available for free or by charging a ticket or a subscription to the most interested followers.

Alternatively, it will be possible to transform parts of the conversation into Soundbites , that is mini-audio contributions that will be inserted in a stream of clips managed by an algorithm that will follow in all respects the functioning of the classic blue social feed. Wanting to make a comparison, it can be considered as Reels but only and exclusively for audio. To convince people to participate, Facebook is also introducing an Audio Creator Fund to “support emerging audio creators”, which will join Stars , the payment system for influencers that will immediately apply to Live Audio Rooms , a mechanism quite similar to Payments introduced on Clubhouse.

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Facebook also plans to take a bigger role in¬†podcasting¬†.¬†The social network will begin to recommend shows and episodes based on people’s interests, giving them the opportunity to comment on them and recommend them to friends by exploiting the 170 million people connected to a podcast page and the 35 million fans worldwide who follow the protagonists of this trend of entertainment.¬†To complete the circle,¬†Facebook will also enter into an agreement with Spotify¬†to integrate many features of the app into its feed:¬†you can play music and podcasts directly on the social network¬†, by registering with your account.

It will remain to be seen how profitable this investment in the world of audio will be for Facebook and how long it will be able to last. Zuckerberg had made similar maneuvers in the past also for videos on Instagram with IGTV or with the large investment on Facebook Live, which then fell by the wayside . The same thing could happen for audio, if podcasts and audio, which are now on the crest of the wave, do not survive the end of the pandemic. One thing is certain: Clubhouse needs to maintain its exclusivity to counter the competition of social sharks who are trying to tear it to pieces with its own weapons. After Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are also studying similar solutions, so it is certain that the US app should take a step and officially land on Android to win over new users and be ready for the challenge.

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