Facebook is adding Live Audio. Do we like it?

Facebook is adding Live Audio to their long list of features. They explain it is to fill a need for audio only and suggest radio broadcasts, podcasting and live music as some appropiate areas of use. Most radio industry people, except Americans (it seems), welcome the Live Audio news.

After the recent announcement of Live 360 videos, Facebook is adding another dimension to its Live experience: audio. The social media giant announced Live Audio before Christmas, a new way to go Live on Facebook:

We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. 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. Our new Live Audio option makes it easy to go live with audio only when that’s the broadcaster’s preferred format.

One of the most attractive features, according to Facebook, Live Audio also provides a way to broadcast from low-connectivity areas or to reach audiences in areas with weak network connections.

So how does this Live Audio feature work?

Facebook Live Audio works just like Live video. When a Page starts a Live Audio broadcast, it will be pushed to news feeds and the Page’s Live subscribers and active followers will receive a notification. Facebook will pull the Page’s cover image as the default image for the Live Audio broadcast. Listeners can leave comments and reactions while the broadcast is ongoing. Broadcasts can last for up to four hours.

There is an obvious flaw with Live Audio on mobile as iOS users must keep Facebook live and open. Android users will be able to switch to other apps or even lock their phone while listening to a Facebook Live Audio broadcast.

So do we like it? Facebook certainly hope so and suggest it could be used for radio broadcasts, podcasts, interviews and book readings, Q&A sessions, live sets and recording sessions for bands and musicians and news broadcasts from disaster and conflict areas.

Facebook has partnered with publishers, including Harper Collins and BBC World Service, as well as authors Brit Bennett and Adam Grant to introduce Live Audio over the next few weeks. The feature will roll out to all other users early next year.

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