Facebook Aims to Take on Clubhouse With 'Live Audio Rooms'
To begin with, Live Audio Rooms is only available to some public figures and certain groups, and can only be hosted through the Facebook iOS app, but both iOS and Android users can join a room, and the feature supports up to 50 speaking participants and an unlimited number of listeners.
While Clubhouse already has a solid user base, it limits the number of people who can enter a room, so Facebook's offering has one up on its rival from the off. Facebook users can also "raise a hand" to join a conversation, and use reactions to participate in real time.
In addition, Live Audio Rooms is set to receive more features that Clubhouse presently lacks, including notifications when friends or followers join a room and live captioning.
Users can discover and join Live Audio Rooms within Facebook Groups. In private groups, admins can control whether moderators, group members or other admins can create a Live Audio Room. Meanwhile, in public groups, both members and visitors can listen to the Live Audio Room, but in private groups, only members can listen.
Live Audio Room hosts can also select a nonprofit or fundraiser to support during their conversation, and listeners and speakers can directly donate.
Among the U.S.-basd public figures with first access to Live Audio Rooms are music artist TOKiMONSTA, football quarterback Russell Wilson, Internet personality Omareloff, and entrepreneur Amanda Nguyen. Initial group conversations are also being hosted on topics ranging from dance and vegan food to guided meditation.