Facebook is continuing its Live content push with a brand new feature that will enable users to go live with audio only. The new option, dubbed Live Audio, not only creates a different storytelling experience, according to Facebook, but also presents an easier broadcasting option for users in areas where Internet signal is weak.
In a blog post, product specialist Shirley Ip and software engineer Bhavana Radhakrishnan wrote that the team created the feature after seeing certain Pages go live with an image accompanying audio broadcasts. As with Live videos, users can still ask questions and react to goings-on in real-time. Facebook envisions Live Audio being used as a medium for interviews, book readings, and more, and Android users will be able to listen to audio broadcasts even after they exit Facebook or lock their phones.
In coming weeks, Facebook will roll out Live Audio with partners including BBC, Leading Britain’s Conversation (LBC), Harper Collins, and the authors Adam Grant and Brit Bennett. Early next year, the feature will become available to more users, according to Ip and Radhakrishnan. If the feature proves as popular as Live video, it could conceivably turn Facebook into a popular platform for the buzzy podcasting medium.
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Just last week, Facebook unveiled live, 360-degree video streaming, which it kicked off in partnership with National Geographic and which is slated to roll out to additional publisher Pages in coming weeks. The company has also spent a reported $16.4 million in recent months on an ad campaign to convince more users to go Live.