Facebook continues to improve its live experience. After the recent announcement of Live 360 videos, Facebook is adding another dimension: audio. The social media giant announced its launch of Live Audio, a new way to go Live on Facebook.
Facebook is now expanding to real-time audio streaming. The company added the capability to listen to live audio broadcasts to its iOS and Android apps. A group of selected publishers is no testing the format including BBC World Service.
Users can locate audio streams in their news feeds, and interact with broadcasters via chat and reactions just like the way they interact with a video stream. Android users will be able to continue listening even after they close the app, making it easier to listen on the go, while iOS users have to keep Facebook’s app up running to stay tuned in.
The specialist of Facebook product Shirley Ip and Facebook Software Engineer Bhavana Radhakrishan said in the blog post that the new format was, in part, a response to broadcasters already using Facebook’s video streaming for audio-only programming. “We’ve even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast.”
They also suggested that audio may help in situations with slow internet access. Live Audio presents another option for connecting with audiences in real time from low-connectivity areas.
Facebook is at launch putting a big importance on spoken word content for live audio. However, the company wants to release the feature more widely early next year, and one has to wonder whether label artists and music enthusiast will embrace it for music at that point as well, which in turn could be an interesting way for Facebook to once again immerse into the music streaming world.
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