Zuckerberg Hosts First Public U.S. Test Of Live Audio Rooms

On Tuesday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted the first public U.S. test of Live Audio Rooms — the new service Facebook hopes will challenge Clubhouse.

Zuckerberg did not announce a launch date for the service, which will be available on Messenger as well as Facebook, but said it will be available to “a lot more people very soon.”

Facebook has previously conducted public tests of the service in Taiwan.

During the U.S. test, Zuckerberg talked with creators, including Facebook gaming creators, and Facebook executives Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, vice president of its Reality Labs, and Fidji Simo, head of apps.

According to tech reviews, the test confirmed that the Live Audio Rooms user experience (screen from the test shown above, via TechCrunch) is nearly identical with Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.

Facebook is reportedly planning to bring Live Audio Rooms to Facebook Groups, which could give it one key advantage over other audio chatrooms, which have struggled with helping people find relevant rooms.

"Facebook, which is focusing on individual creators, and groups, where 1.8 billion users are already engaging around topics they care about, could be onto a winner by making the rooms more specifically available to those who are more likely to engage with each specific topic, as opposed to trying to use algorithm matching to showcase audio broadcasts of interest," notes Social Media Today.

Yesterday, Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook will soon launch a “Looking for Players” feature that will help gamers find other players as they’re streaming, and that badges earned from livestreams will now carry over to fan groups, reports TechCrunch.

He also confirmed that Facebook will initially refrain from taking a cut of creator revenue generated through soon-to-launch services. Those include a newsletter service meant to compete with Substack and a short-form experience called Soundbites, as well as the audio chatrooms.

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