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Facebook improves Audio Services by launching Live Rooms and Podcasts after a long wait

Facebook has been hyping people up with the news of the arrival of its latest updates. The social network has been working on improving its audio experience and the launch is finally in the picture. This week, Facebook introduced its Live Audio Room feature for all iOS users in the States. The initial roll-out is rather selective as the service first would only be available to a handful of celebrities and selected groups.

The social platform was rather specific in regards to its chosen class which included only certain verified users with a strong Facebook presence along with only a ‘dozen’ groups, as the site indicated. This is only respective to who will be able to conduct these live sessions. As for who can attend these, all of the US Facebook users will be able to listen to 100% of these sessions.

Facebook intends to broaden the reach of the feature, by allowing more people to conduct these sessions, however, that will only be possible once the platform has a much greater audience inclusive of podcast makers, verified celebrities, and people who comply with Facebook’s regulations to host such sessions.

We're pretty familiar with the features of the new update ever since the news about its launch was aired. The features are pretty similar to Instagram yet have a 'Facebook' touch to them. The hosts appear with a colored ring around their profiles to signify their presence along with the infamous platform colors - blue, pink, and purple.

The listeners have been given the place at the lower half of the screen. Furthermore, the speakers will be identified through a vibrant ring while listeners will be able to interact through raising hands and reacting through the thumbs-up button, which is pretty mediocre. From such a great platform, we did expect a tad bit more in regards to the engagement, but it looks like we will have to suffice with what's being provided at the moment.

We were quite surprised by some of the features including the limitless number of audience one can have during a live session. Also, the speakers can be chosen before or in the middle of the session. Facebook handsomely determined the number of speakers as well, claiming to facilitate 50 speakers at a time. We can just imagine the chaos it would cause when so many people are allowed to speak at once.

Just like Instagram, when someone new joins the session, the users already inside will be notified. Furthermore, users can buy stars during the conversation or before and use them to rate the live rooms. Hosts will be encouraged through these stars and help viewers identify the quality of their content. But what will the purchasers of the stars gain? The stars will allow the viewers to be pushed up to the front seats where the speakers can easily identify them which could benefit viewers in increasing their standing.

The platform also enabled hosts to directly link charitable organizations for listeners or speakers to directly donate to. As for the establishment of such live groups, independent figures can conduct the sessions themselves while people in groups will have to get their admin’s approval before such sessions could be conducted.

Not only is the platform deciding to bless us with the Live rooms, but it is also going to roll out the official promised podcasts with some of the best names in the market. It is to be noted that these podcasts are different from the Project Boombox being launched by the same platform which will include podcasts from Spotify directly available on the feed with a presentation similar to that of the source site.

This new Spotify-Facebook venture allows users to listen to podcasts in either a mini option or a full-screen version. Both the versions can be enabled at a playback option with the screen off. Users are delighted by the use of Facebook as a native platform for services like Spotify. The deduction of third-party apps such as Spotify is a great initiative to improve user experience and indeed become a multi-tasking site.

Since Facebook has strict no-plagiarism policies, it is asking podcast owners to give the application permission to cache their audios. While the platform promises the incentive is to adhere to its policies, podcast owners are having trouble complying as RSS is widely popular among users as a means to surf these podcasts.

Facebook also promises to delve further and launch a video feature for podcasts later sometime. The platform is focusing on becoming the number one audio site with big plans to include all kinds of audio from its base. Since Facebook already has a rather large audience, getting users to engage in its new services isn't going to be a hard task. However, getting people to continue engaging or receiving the reaction intended is going to be a difficult task at the moment.

Facebook launched the audio rooms yesterday with a promise to roll out more audio features in 2021. The real question is to see whether Facebook complies or is this all just an air castle?
Read next: Facebook's New Report Highlights the Future Potential of Augmented and Virtual Reality

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