Twitter becomes a podcast app

Twitter is officially launching podcasts. The app will launch a test version of Twitter Spaces today that includes podcasts, allowing you to listen to full shows via playlists organized according to your interests.

The redesigned Spaces tab opens with stations, themed playlists combining podcast episodes pulled from RSS with Twitter’s events and social audio recordings. It works like a Pandora station but for speech and is quite different from the pay-per-view podcast consumers are used to on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Live and upcoming spaces are always in the tab further down the page. The test will be deployed to a random group of users around the world, initially only in English.

Twitter’s podcast interface on an iPhone.
Image: Twitter

The more users listen, the more personalized the audio stations will be. But Twitter isn’t starting from scratch — the company relies on what it already knows about its users’ interests to curate playlists. It will also draw on the interests of the people they follow. “What we’re really trying to capture here is like it’s like another user is recommending something to you,” said Twitter senior product manager Evan Jones, who focuses on audio. hot capsule.

Discovering podcasts is notoriously difficult, limited to either the top 100 charts, hand-picked selections on apps, or, more often than not, word of mouth. No platform has managed to crack it yet.

It’s easy to imagine the promotional possibilities around the ability to share and listen to podcasts in the same app, but it’s not quite there yet. The test does not yet have clipping capability and auditioning can only be done in the Spaces tab, not on the timeline. That being said, Spaces does have a clipping feature that might be applied to podcasts at some point.

One of Twitter’s newest stations, featuring podcasts and social audio.
Image: Twitter

Twitter and podcasts could be a fruitful combination. Twitter spaces, which launched in 2020 hot on the heels of Clubhouse’s pandemic success, is already giving the app a foothold in audio. Jones said that, based on company data, 45% of Twitter users are also monthly podcast listeners (given how news-focused Twitter is, that makes a lot of sense). Meanwhile, the data discovered by tech sleuths earlier this year revealed that Twitter was experimenting with a podcast tab.

This turned out to be partially true. “We were testing different ideas,” Jones said. “As we gripped the stone, we came to this, but podcasts were always going to be part of Spaces.”

Jones wouldn’t say when users can expect an official launch, but he said the feature’s final release will be influenced by how people react to the test. If you are one of the selected guinea pigs, do not hesitate to tell me about your experience!

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