Facebook Introduces Audio-Only Facebook Live Broadcasts

Podcasting has seen a big increase in popularity over the past few years.
According to Edison Research, podcast listenership grew 23% between 2015 and 2016, while 21% of all Americans now listen to podcasts on a regular basis. For comparison, 21% of Americans use Twitter – so the same amount of people tweeting are listening to podcasts. Worth considering in your marketing process.

And that’s not all – check out the growth in podcasts on iTunes over the past few years (via Copyblogger).

Even LinkedIn recently published an infographic on the growth of podcasts, noting that more than a third of their 467 million members regularly listen to podcasts, with users under the age of 35 the being most prolific podcast consumers.

While it may not get as much coverage as other marketing options, podcasting is clearly a growth area. And it might just be about to get bigger, with Facebook today announcing a new option to broadcast via Facebook Live in audio-only mode.

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

The update adds to the expanding options for live broadcasts on the platform – and with live content getting a reach boost via the algorithm, logically, more people are looking to use it in different ways. 

Audio live-streams can be up to four hours long, while Facebook also notes that audio-only broadcasts will be beneficial for areas of low connectivity, enabling more people to connect in real-time.

“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.”
Live audio will also continue to play while you do other things on the app – on Android, Live audio will continue playing even if you leave the app entirely, while iOS listeners will be able to continue browsing other parts of Facebook while the audio plays.

Really, Facebook Live is begging for new options...

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