Facebook is launching podcasts and live audio streams in the US on Monday to keep users busy on its platform and compete with emerging competitors.
Facebook says it allows public figures with verified accounts to start live audio rooms and invite others to speak. A handful of podcasts will be available to the people of the United States initially, and the company plans to add more over time.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has appeared on the video streaming app Clubhouse in the past, hosted a dedicated live audio room on his Facebook page last week.
“The introduction of live audio rooms and podcasts in the USA is just the beginning of our audio journey,” wrote Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app, in a blog post on Monday, Audio Tools for the Further Development and Introduction of Soundbites – short, creative audio clips.
But podcasts and live audio were also an outlet for racism, misinformation, and extremist material. Live audio is especially difficult to moderate compared to traditional social media posts.
Facebook, which announced its audio plans in April to break into audio streams, says its rules apply to live audio and podcasts and anyone can report objectionable material.
“In addition, our broader integrity and security work and the tools we have developed to proactively and automatically identify malicious content are great building blocks, but we plan to adapt technologies and processes as we learn more,” said the company in a prepared Explanation.
The company says it can also maintain live audio after it is no longer live to enforce its guidelines, which is done by both human moderators and machine learning.
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