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Facebook announces Live Audio broadcast feature

by on21 December 2016

Telling stories using words without video

Last December, Facebook introduced a mildly revolutionary, culture-changing feature called Live Video allowing users to broadcast their whereabouts in real-time from any place at any time, with the side of effect of having everyone on the network receiving pesky notifications.

Today, it has decided to cut down some of the clutter and hopefully preserve much-needed bandwidth in the process by releasing Live Audio. This is essentially the same idea as Live Video but is more catered to users, publishers, musicians and professionals who want to simply tell a story using words without video.

facebook live audio
The company is using the Facebook Live API to allow users to add still images to their audio broadcasts, making it easier to reach audiences by going live without the need for a full video broadcast. One major concern that publishers have expressed over the past year is their inability to broadcast live video in poor connection areas, and the audio-only alternative should allow for better coverage in more convenient locations.

Facebook will enable Newsfeed functionality on its website and mobile app for users to discover Live Audio feeds, similar to what it has already done with Live Video. More specifically, Android users will be able to continue listening to a Live Audio broadcast after leaving the app, while iOS users can continue listening while they browse other parts of the Facebook app.

Broader availability comes early next year

With its rollout of Live Video, the company promoted the feature by paying publishers and celebrities to use it, as it wanted to increase view counts and get the platform to succeed. There is no indication whether it will do the same with Live Audio, although it will partner initially with a handful of news outlets, digital radio broadcasters and authors before making the service available more broadly early next year.

Last modified on 21 December 2016
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