Facebook Messenger rooms may offer live audio streaming experience to the Clubhouse in the future. The New York Times reported in February, the social network was working on its own version of the audio-only chat app for iOS, which has skyrocketed in popularity in recent months. Now we have a clearer picture of what Facebook’s take on the audio chat experience might look like based on photos shared by reverse engineering. Alessandro Paluzzi, who found the experimental feature in the code of the social network’s Android app.
#Facebook continue to work on the audio rooms 👀
ℹ️ You will be able to choose between two types of audio rooms: Live audio or Audio (private).
ℹ️ Live audio rooms can be listened to by anyone on Facebook. pic.twitter.com/4QUPIeW3hm
– Alessandro Paluzzi (@ alex193a) March 20, 2021
The current experimental version of the feature allows users to choose the type of room they want from Facebook’s competitor Zoom. One option starts a private audio room with friends, another starts a private video room, while the last one titled “Live Audio” will allow a user to start an audio broadcast only to a room full of listeners. As TechCrunch Note, the current iteration of Messenger Rooms can support up to 50 people, but it was not designed to provide a public streaming experience. This feature will change that.
Clubhouse gives broadcasters a way to host live shows for a group of listeners – in fact, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg recently took to the platform to talk about their respective projects. The Facebook version currently has an interface that resembles the chat app, with speakers displayed at the top of the user list represented by larger profile photos. Listeners are listed below Speakers, represented by smaller profile photos. Paluzzi says anyone on Facebook will be able to join a broadcast without having to open message rooms.
Meanwhile, the scaled-down map of a live broadcast shows the hall title, as well as the number of speakers and listeners.
Facebook confirmed to TechCrunch that the images are examples of the company’s “exploratory audio efforts”. As with any experimental product, however, the end product (if it becomes one) could be an entirely different beast.