Facebook Live Audio turns the social network into a radio broadcaster

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Facebook has already spun up its version of live television with Facebook Live. Now it’s come up with a take on live radio.

On Tuesday, Facebook announced Live Audio, an audio-only version of Facebook Live that can be used to broadcast radio shows, podcasts, book readings and more.

People can tune into a Live Audio stream and interact with it as they would a Live video stream, posting comments and sending reactions. But unlike with the video version, they can play the audio broadcast in the background.

People tuning in using Android phones or tablets will be able to listen even if they switch from Facebook to another app or lock their devices. People using iPhones or iPads cannot exit Facebook or lock their phones and keep listening, but they can cruise around within Facebook without losing the stream.

A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions asking whether the Live Audio broadcasts can be listened to after the live stream has ended and, if so, whether the on-demand version can be played in the background.

For now, Live Audio is being tested with only a few Page owners, including TV and radio broadcaster BBC World Service, British radio station LBC, book publisher Harper Collins and authors Adam Grant and Britt Bennett. Facebook plans to open it up to more people and Pages next year, the company said.




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