Facebook Goes Radio With Live Audio Feature

Managing Editor
Updated

Now that Facebook Live videos have taken over the internet, the social media giant has a new medium in its sights: radio. Facebook will soon roll out a Live Audio feature, which will allow both major broadcasters and everyday people to host radio-style livestreams that don't require your camera to be on.

Based on Facebook's blog post, going live in audio mode should be as simple as hitting the Live button and selecting audio-only. Facebook Live Audio broadcasts will pop up in your news feed the same way live videos do, though they have some unique advantages.

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Facebook says that Android users will be able to listen to Live Audio broadcasts even if they leave the Facebook app, while iOS users can continue to browse other parts of Facebook while playing an audio stream. According to Facebook's blog, there will be a special option for broadcasters going live in areas with poor wireless service.

Expect to hear a good chunk of talk radio when Live Audio launches. Facebook will begin testing the feature over the next few weeks with such parters as BBC World Service, LBC, Harper Collins, Adam Grant and Brit Bennett. The company plans to make Live Audio widely available by "early next year."

Live Audio seems like a logical next step for Facebook, whose live videos have become an essential part of the network. Both everyday folks and major news and entertainment networks already use Live Video to get the word out to Facebook's billion-plus daily users, and with Live Audio coming soon, it wouldn't be a surprise to see some of the biggest names in radio hop aboard.