Washington: Facebook started to launch services for people seeking audio connections on Monday, directly challenging the upstart social platform Clubhouse.
The “live audio rooms” will enable users of the social media giant to listen to, and sometimes participate in, conversations led by celebrities and “influencers” or create a fundraiser on the platform.
The new audio features “enable you to discover, listen in on and join live conversations with public figures, experts and others about topics you re interested in,” said Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, in a blog post.
“Public figures can invite friends, followers, verified public figures, or any listeners in the room to be a speaker. The host can invite speakers in advance or during the conversation. There can be up to 50 speakers, and there s no limit to the number of listeners.”
Facebook has invited many celebrities to serve its audio distribution, including rapper D Smoke, health guru Dr. Jess, and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson.
Prior to this launch, there was a strong interest in audio-based social networks, and Clubhouse has attracted approximately 10 million users since its launch last year.
Twitter and Spotify have also entered the field of live audio services.
Facebook separately stated that it will start offering podcasts in the United States, which can be used directly in the Facebook application, including products by cultural critic Joe Buden and Internet influencer Jacques Vaneck.
This move comes at a time when Facebook and other U.S. technology giants are under scrutiny due to their increasing dominance in key economic sectors and legislative pushes that may cause some giants to fall apart.