Facebook Launches Live Audio with Select Publishers

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As part of its effort to continue improving the live experience, Facebook is launching Live Audio with a select group of publishers before opening to the public next year.

Live Audio is designed to complement Facebook’s Live video streaming, and gives publishers more flexibility when broadcasting their content. The new service will bring book readings, news radio, interviews, and podcasts to Facebook’s News Feed. For users with poor connectivity, a low-bandwidth option will be provided, so users can continue listening in real-time.

Publishers invited to try Live Audio include Britt Bennett, Leading Britain’s Conversation talk radio, BBC World Service, Adam Grant, and Harper Collins.

In its launch statement, Facebook said, “Early next year, we plan to make this new format more broadly available to publishers and people.”

Android users can continue listening to Live Audio streams while browsing Facebook and using other apps. iOS users can only browse through Facebook while listening.

When publishers launch a Live Audio stream, the page’s Live subscribers will be sent notifications. Broadcasts can go as long as four hours.

Facebook has been focusing on expanding its “live” options. Just last week, the social network giant launched Live 360, which allows views for 360-degree video streaming. They also beta launched Livestreaming from Oculus VR.

The Live 360 feature was launched with National Geographic with a live stream from Utah’s Mars Desert Research Station.

“Just as with a live video on Facebook, listeners can discover live audio content in News Feed, ask questions and leave reactions in real time during the broadcast, and easily share with their friends,” Facebook said.

With long broadcast times and Facebook’s huge user base, Live Audio may attract a wide range of publishers. From radio stations to podcasters, news, musicians and authors, Live Audio presents a new way for publishers to share their content with their audience.