Twitter decided to integrate podcasts into Spaces after conducting an internal study that found that 45% of people who use Twitter in the U.S. also listen to podcasts on a monthly basis. Ray Chao, general manager of audio at Vox, said the company is excited that Twitter is giving its listeners the ability to hear its podcasts outside of the aforementioned audio streaming services.
Podcasts are being incorporated by Twitter into the brand-new Spaces Tab in the Twitter app for iOS and Android. The social media site announced in a blog post that starting today, it will test the updated Spaces Tab on a global sample of users at random, but only in English. The updated Spaces Tab organises audio content, including podcasts, into hubs depending on category. The new star of Spaces is podcasts, and there are audio stations personalised by an algorithm for different users to listen to based on who they follow on Twitter and what topics interest them. These stations are themed around various topics, including music, news, sports, entertainment, travel, etc.
“Vox Media has a rich array of popular podcasts across many categories, and we’re thrilled that Twitter is expanding its audio capabilities to help more listeners discover them,” Chao said. “Whether it’s Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway’s Pivot, our daily news explainer Today, Explained, or Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara, we’re excited Twitter is offering users and podcast fans an exciting new frontier.”
Twitter launched Spaces in November 2020, following the success that Facebook’s Clubhouse gained during the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, only Twitter users with 600 or more followers were allowed to host a Space or listen in. One year later, Twitter allowed people without an account to access Spaces — even on the web browser version. Now Spaces is getting reworked to also function as a podcast platform.
Users can customize their podcast listening experience on Spaces further by giving a podcast a thumbs-up or thumbs-down depending on their level of interest in the content. The system is similar to Pandora, which allows listeners to vote songs up or down depending on if the music genre or artist they’re listening to suits their interests or not. In this case, Twitter is giving users the power to determine whether or not the content of the podcast they’re hearing is interesting to them.
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