Twitter will start streaming podcasts, and they’re not limited to 280 characters
A redesigned Spaces feature will automatically suggest 'compelling podcasts' to users.
Twitter has pushed its Spaces feature for a couple years now. Billed as an audio-focused group chat feature, Spaces basically amounts to a Clubhouse clone similar to other platform offerings like Facebook Messenger Rooms. The company hasn’t given up yet, however, as evidenced yesterday by an announcement that it will soon integrate podcasts as part of a complete Spaces redesign.
“Integrating podcasts into Spaces, where audio conversations happen on Twitter, is another way we’re continuing to invest in audio creators,” Twitter explained in the statement released on Thursday. The new format will also introduce personalized hubs that group content by thematic categories—News, Sports, Music, etc.—and include suggested shows based on users’ Twitter preferences, follows, and interactions. “Our internal research indicates that 45 percent of people who use Twitter in the US also listen to podcasts monthly, so we’ll automatically suggest compelling podcasts to help people easily find and listen to the topics they want to hear more about,” the announcement continued.
The podcast industry annually generates millions of dollars, and many companies are increasingly turning to the format. Both Spotify and Facebook both offer ways for their user base to tune into podcasts, so to see Twitter join in isn’t wholly surprising. Still, Twitter primarily remains a text-based platform, so it might be hard to convince consumers to start listening podcasts there rather than their current preferred mediums—especially after recent whistleblower allegations revealing just how insecure Twitter might actually be.
For right now, Twitter’s redesigned Spaces tab incorporating podcasts is only available for a select “a group of global English-speaking audience on iOS and Android,” although Twitter indicates that it’s really only a matter of time before the update rolls out to more users.