Twitter is introducing podcasts to its app, but experts warn that users may be disappointed by the lack of interesting content.
In an effort to make it easier for users to “just push play and leave,” Twitter recently revealed plans to bring podcasts to a revamped Spaces tab on mobile.
The platform claims it will “automatically suggest compelling podcasts to help people easily find and listen to the topics they want to hear more about” in a recent blog post, but critics are concerned that rather than encouraging users to explore new material, the new method will simply serve up more of what they already know and like.
Head of creative at podcast company Multitude Productions Eric Silver told Lifewire via email that if suggestions are based on who you’re following and their algorithm, then people will only see what they’re currently following.
The Discoverability Problem
62% of the American population aged 12 and up have listened to at least one podcast, according to 2022 research by Edison Research. This is a rise from the 57% recorded in 2021, and among the 1,502 respondents, 38% said they had listened to a podcast in the recent month.
Twitter might help these users discover new voices to listen to and introduce podcasts to a whole new audience if it added podcasts to its Spaces tab.
That’s what the experts hope for, but they’re not entirely confident it will happen. Creators and distributors of podcasts still struggle with making their works easily discoverable. Getting into podcasts is a bold move for Twitter and one that might pay off if the platform’s suggestions are diverse enough to expose users to new episodes.
Rather than helping people find podcasts, Silver believes it will simply serve as another distribution channel for established programs. “If it works in some completely unexpected way, that’s fantastic!”
Melanie Benson, a podcaster, is more optimistic, but not about the new function. She has her sights set beyond the Spaces tab and is curious if podcasts will become an integral element of a Twitter user’s profile.
Better yet, as proposed by Benson, would be if Twitter supported the incorporation of an RSS Feed for a podcast into a user’s profile, allowing for automatic publication of new episodes as they became up.
For Silver, this would mean less work for podcast viewers and more enjoyable for listeners by cutting down on the time it takes to go from viewing a podcast to listening to it.
He added that most podcast listeners are on Twitter and that it just takes five clicks of the mouse for someone to subscribe to a podcast after seeing a tweet about it.
When the Podcasts Will Become Available on Twitter?
Twitter reports that its new Spaces tab, which includes podcasts, is currently being released to a limited number of iOS and Android users around the world. The podcasts will initially be available only to those whose default language is English.