You Can Now Listen to Live Audio Content on Facebook

Could be big for radio, podcast broadcasters

Facebook Live isn't just for video. Today the social network launched a new feature dubbed Live Audio that lets users listen to broadcast voice recordings, pushing more audio-only content into newsfeeds.

Similar to Facebook Live videos, users can go live from the Facebook app by pressing a button. Once a recording starts, Facebook creates a post using a Page cover image. The post is then pushed to newsfeeds and people can listen to the audio content as they browse through Facebook. For Android users, audio will also play if a user leaves the Facebook app to use another app or locks their phone.

Facebook is heavily pitching Live Audio towards publishers and broadcasters who are already cranking out loads of live video to win over Facebook's algorithm that reaches a massive audience. A podcast or radio publisher may be able to livestream an episode straight from Facebook, for example. Or a news outlet could collect audio snippets from a live event.

"We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video," Facebook said in a statement. "We've even seen some Pages find creative ways to go live and reach audiences with audio only by using the Facebook Live API or by adding a still image to accompany their audio broadcast."

According to Facebook, a handful of publishers and authors including BBC World Service, HarperCollins and Adam Grant are already on board with using Live Audio. The feature is beginning to roll out to a portion of its users and will be available to everyone next year.