Facebook is expanding the Live Audio Rooms feature it launched in the United States in June to a global audience. In addition to public figures and creators, Facebook is also making the feature – a competitor of the Clubhouse – available to groups.
When it was launched, Live Audio rooms could be created via Facebook’s iOS application; it has now added the ability to create rooms in its Android app as well. People will now be able to listen to the audio rooms live on the desktop, but will still have to use a mobile app for creation. Within groups, administrators can control who enters an audio room, with private and public options available.
The social media giant is also rolling out its Soundbites short audio feature to more users in the United States. Soundbites live in user news feeds; users record a short piece of audio – an anecdote, a joke, a moment of inspiration – in a separate tool within Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg described Soundbites as similar to Instagram’s reels, but only for audio. Facebook says the product is still in the early stages of development, but has had success with the creators who use it so far. It will be available to more users in the coming weeks.
Facebook finally entered the podcast arena over the summer, but listening to podcasts on Facebook is still limited to its American audience. The company said in a statement that it plans to expand its podcast offerings to more markets in the future, as part of a “long-term vision of delivering a holistic experience that brings together new opportunities for distribution, discovery, monetization and social connections for podcasts. in one place. “
The company also says it has focused on moderation tools in its social audio experiences, including tools that “proactively and automatically identify harmful content,” and that it is tailoring its processes to moderate content. audio that violates Facebook’s community standards.
How Facebook handles harmful content, of course, has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, after internal documents provided to news outlets by whistleblower Frances Haugen showed that the company’s research revealed that her Instagram platform could be toxic to teens, especially girls. Company vice president for global affairs Nick Clegg said over the weekend that Instagram will introduce features that encourage users to “take a break” from the platform and “take them away” from the content. ” not conducive to their well-being “.
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