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A face(book) for radio: social network gets Live Audio

Live video streams have been something of a hit on Facebook since its introduction earlier this year, but the network isn’t stopping there. Now, it’s introduced live audio streaming functionality as well.

Facebook’s Live Audio functionality is pretty self-explanatory, allowing streamers who prefer audio to ditch bandwidth-intensive video.

“We know that sometimes publishers want to tell a story on Facebook with words and not video. 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,” the social network wrote on its blog.

“Our new Live Audio option makes it easy to go live with audio only when that’s the broadcaster’s preferred format.”

The network adds that internet connectivity was a major factor in implementing Live Audio streaming, giving broadcasters another option in areas of low connectivity.

Live Audio on Facebook is yet another live-streaming option for broadcasters, following on from video and 360 video

“From interviews to book readings, we’re excited about the layer of interactivity that Live Audio brings to both the broadcaster and listener. 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 wrote.

In a smart move on Android, Live Audio will continue to play when you exit the Facebook app or lock your phone. Unfortunately for iOS users, background playback functionality isn’t quite as comprehensive, but you can still listen to audio streams while browsing other sections of Facebook.

The initial wave of partners includes BBC World Service, Harper Collins and several authors, Facebook confirmed.

The move also comes just a week after Facebook introduced live 360 video streams.

Featured image: Fe Ilya via Flickr

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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