Audio is also a new way for ads to grow on social media
Facebook Live Audio, which adds a real-time radio option to Live’s other video options, is debuting today, available to both Android and iOS users.
“We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video,” Facebook announced in a blog post, and added that “We also know that publishers sometimes go live from areas that lack strong network connectivity.”
With this in mind, it’s making that broadcasting capacity available to users, pages, publishers, and brands. Content will first be available through partners such as the BBC and HarperCollins, and will add new partners in 2017.
Broadcasters will be able to post up to four hours’ worth of material as they go.
As The Drum notes, “Facebook’s need to find new ad formats,” and bringing Live Audio online will help with that, and the digital audio advertising market is expected to grow as more platforms vie for supplementary income out of that medium, as market share doubles going forward.
Last week, Live 360 debuted, starting out with National Geographic content, and with more coming in 2017 for everyone on the platform and possible 4K video support as well. (Instagram Live also debuted this month.)
Facebook is betting heavily on live streaming. Facebook Live support is also coming to more iOS camera add-ons, Oculus is adding group functionality to its VR rooms, and Messenger can now support up to 50 participants in group calls, five times that of Skype or Google.
Although the company plans to develop Live Audio for both iOS and Android, right now only the latter allows streaming if your phone is locked or you don’t have the app window open, allowing you to have it on in the background while you flip through other apps. And as it develops the service further for news, music, and podcasting, it’s likely to start running into competition with other services, such as iTunes or Spotify.