Facebook unveils new surprise feature; Live Audio for podcasts and radio

Facebook Live Audio

On Tuesday, Facebook unveiled that it’s experimenting with a new option called Live Audio and here is everything that we know so far about the new podcast like feature. The Live Audio will let anyone go live minus the video, with only audio on the network. The feature can be used for all sorts of things like live book readings to one’s followers, live podcasts, and more.

The live audio will work similarly to the live video experience on Facebook where users can comment and leave reactions. Facebook product specialist Shirley Ip and software engineer Bhavana Radhakrishnan in a blog post said:

“We know that people often like to listen to audio while doing other things and think the listening experience will be first class.”

This new path for Facebook looks like the company’s take on the podcasting giants like the Acast, Spotify and iTunes. The BBC and HarperCollins, one of the biggest book publishing companies, are two of the publishers chosen by Facebook to test out its Live Audio, the company’s answer to podcasting and radio. The company has also taken authors Adam Grant and Britt Bennett on board to test the new feature.

How it will work

Curious about how it will work? Well, like Facebook Live video, the Live Audio will also allow casters to go live with a single click. The users will get a notification that someone they follow has gone live and they can check it out the audio. The post will include the same options for commenting, reacting and sharing. The biggest advantage to this feature is that just like an audiobook or podcast, the user can enjoy it whiling doing any other task. Facebook said:

“From interviews to book readings, we’re excited about the layer of interactivity that Live Audio brings to both the broadcaster and listener.”

The social media giant has been rolling out new features and updates near the end of 2016 and has been throwing punches at the rest of the social media platforms with one secret surprise at a time. Earlier this week the company released Group Video Chat feature, Colored Facebook status, and the Group calling feature for the desktop. Live Audio is set to be launched in 2017.

Through these recent additions, the company is taking a swing at Skype, an application that provides video chat and voice call services to users and Snapchat, an image messaging application. The social media giant is trying to better every application provided by any other social media application or platform but in the quest to become the jack of all trades will the company loose its long-term perspective? That’s yet to be seen.

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