Sound and Vision

For today’s blog post, I thought I’d take a look at an interesting new change taking place across some twitter users experience. It looks like Twitter is testing a feature that is set to integrate podcasts into their App. According to App researcher Alessandro Palluzi, they are already rolling out a Beta test of this functionality.

#Twitter is working on Podcasts 👀 pic.twitter.com/CqBm1qHV5H

— Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) March 2, 2022

Over the last few years, platforms like Spotify have been heavily investing in podcast acquisition and production, in an effort to retain people’s attention from wandering to other Apps.

We’ve already seen Twitter make moves into this arena by introducing Spaces, which opened to the general public late last year. I’m an avid podcast fan, however to me this feature seemed too unfocused and hard to navigate to topics that I might be interested in. Maybe the introduction of native podcasts could be a way of saving these conversations that are happening live for people to find at a later date.

Last year, Twitter acquired Breaker – a podcast discovery App. The Breaker staff were notified that they would be merged with the spaces team. At the time, this was seen as a way to bolster the spaces feature and improve discoverability, but maybe Twitter were playing a longer game. A large part of Breaker’s USP is that it blends an average podcast app experience with a social side – you can “like” and comment on the podcasts. It’s easy to see how this functionality could work with Twitter’s existing user experience and points towards a future where we’re upvoting our favourite podcast episodes and ratio-ing problematic ones.

But the big question that remains unanswered is…will this work? Once established, it can be very hard to get people to change their habits and nowhere is this more apparent than on social media and the apps we use. I am an avid podcast listener and started listening before Spotify’s big push into the space. As a result, I already had my separate podcast app that I use to listen and didn’t want to migrate all of my preferences over to Spotify, even though it is my main source for music. Others were less reluctant and happily use Spotify for both. Were Twitter to introduce a similar feature into their App, would it be so enthusiastically picked up by your average user? I think in the coming months and years you will see Twitter investing in original shows from creators big and small, that you can only find on their platform. The only factor limiting this is how much money Twitter is willing to invest into the space.

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