Facebook’s hasty withdrawal from podcast distribution hasn’t stopped another social media company from giving it a shot. Twitter says it will integrate podcasts on its app as part of its newly redesigned Spaces tab. The company says the beta test will be viewable by “a group” of users from the English-speaking world in the United States and beyond, and on iOS and Android devices.
“We know that some conversations take longer than 280 characters, and connecting people to the ideas, content, and creators they know and love is at the heart of Twitter, no matter where the conversations are taking place,” says Twitter. in the ad.
The company says embedding podcasts in Spaces is a natural fit because that’s where audio conversations already happen on Twitter.
The redesigned spaces sport custom hubs that group audio content by specific themes such as news, music, and sports. Twitter says listeners will also be able to access live and recorded audio on Spaces as well as a selection of podcasts from around the world pulled through public RSS feeds. The podcasts they see will depend in part on the content they interact with on Twitter. The company says that if someone regularly interacts with Vox content on Twitter, they’ll likely see a Vox podcast in a Spaces hub. Users will also be able to personalize their experiences by giving a thumbs up or thumbs down indicating if the content interests them.
“Vox Media offers a rich lineup of popular podcasts across many categories, and we’re thrilled that Twitter is expanding its audio capabilities to help more listeners discover them,” said Ray Chao, general manager of audio at Vox Media. . “We’re thrilled that Twitter is offering podcast users and fans an exciting new frontier,” he said in a statement.
It remains to be seen how many people will listen to podcasts via Twitter. But the company’s internal research shows that 45% of people who use Twitter in the US also listen to podcasts monthly.
The recent history of social media companies and podcasting is not good. Facebook dropped its audio efforts in May after a year-long effort to integrate podcasts into its app. The last shows disappeared on June 3, as Facebook also discontinued a separate integration with Spotify also unveiled last year.
Facebook’s podcast team said last October that their launch looked “really promising” and that there was “a lot of growth and excitement from the podcast community.” But parent Meta would have seen more opportunities in the development of new metaverse features. The once fast-growing giant has also found itself in a new position of struggling to keep users and advertisers alike. “With the current levels of growth in our business, we now expect to slow the pace of some of our investments,” CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on the company’s analyst call in May.