Podcasts and Live Audio Rooms are rolling out in the US and are just the beginning of Facebook’s new audio journey.
Here’s what you need to know:
Public figures and select Facebook Groups in the United States can create Live Audio Rooms on iOS (clubhouse-style), and select Podcasts will be available to listeners in the US. Facebook will expand the ability for more public figures and groups to host a Live Audio Room and introduce new features for both in the coming months.
Facebook currently has 2.85 billion+ members, all of which will now have easy access to podcasts right from the app. This could be a game-changer in growing audiences who may not have explored one of the many existing podcast apps out there. For those that want to start listening but don’t know how to fit podcasts into their day or how to listen, Facebook just made it easy on ‘em.
We think Podcasts deserve more air time! So while there are glitches in the new rollout, eventually, Pages will be able to add a new tab where people can listen, enjoy, discuss and share podcast episodes. Hosts can link their show’s RSS feed up to Facebook, automatically generating news feed posts for all episodes published moving forward. Pages will be updated with the latest episodes as they become available.
People can listen to podcasts while browsing Facebook via a mini player or full-screen player. People can listen to select podcast creators, and a diverse catalog of podcasts on their Facebook Pages, as well as in news feeds.
So what’s in it for brands? Well-produced branded podcasts will be available everywhere ( on more mobile devices, computers, smartwatches, etc.) and will get more media exposure. Brands will be able to build more community, especially if the podcast evokes passion about the industry or topic, tells authentic stories, and brings a unique point of view to the table. We think a podcast will make it worth people’s time to engage with the brand and share the content with others.
Podcast creators will be able to reach and connect with new listeners — all directly within the Facebook app. Users will be able to find new podcasts and episodes based on their interests, comment on them, and recommend them to friends. And while comment sections can be a hot garbage fire, in terms of engagement from fans, this will be huge. It may even shape the format in which shows are made and written. Hosts and guests might break the fourth wall to ask the listener to comment and interact, acknowledging the audience and speaking to them directly.
Ferris Bueller much?
Live Audio Rooms. A Nod To More Audio Experiences
Live Audio Rooms on Facebook will enable users to discover, listen in on, and join live conversations with public figures, experts, and others about topics they’re interested in. Currently, public figures can invite friends, followers, verified public figures, or any listeners in the room to be a speaker. There can be up to 50 speakers, and there’s no limit to the number of listeners.
This kind of blends live-streaming and podcasting together. It’s making podcasting more social, so the jury is still out on whether that will be for the better or worse (optimists over here!).
Coming Soon: A Sound Studio In Your Pocket
Later in 2021, Facebook will drop its new audio creation tools, and it’ll be like having a sound studio in your pocket with the ability to share better audio clips. This update comes as the company begins a bona fide push into audio. These audio creation tools will enable you to create Soundbites — short-form, creative audio clips for capturing anecdotes, moments of inspiration, and all the things we haven’t dreamed up yet.
Will we see the rise of viral clips via user-generated soundbites and perhaps the rise of short-form podcasting? Is this the new audio tik-tok? Only time will tell.