Image Courtesy: Apple Insider

Facebook intends to launch its podcast product next week, on June 22nd, and will ultimately include a feature that would allow listeners to create snippets from their favourite episodes.

According to an email sent to podcast page owners that The Verge obtained, presenters may connect their show’s RSS feed to Facebook, which will then automatically produce News Feed updates for any future episodes broadcast. These episodes will display under a “podcasts” page, which does not appear to be online yet but was foreshadowed in an April statement regarding audio efforts. (You can see it in the image below.) 

Podnews originally reported the date earlier this month, and Facebook verified with The Verge at the time that only a small number of page owners would have access. However, emails are still being sent to more page owners, indicating that the deployment may be broader than planned.

Podcasters who use the platform will also be agreeing to Facebook’s podcast terms of service, which can be found here. It’s a very normal agreement, albeit it doesn’t specify what Facebook may and cannot do with podcasts broadcast through its platform. 

Moreover, Podcasters may choose whether to enable clips, which the firm says will be made by listeners and last up to one minute in length, in addition to the ability to share their programme on Facebook. These “might aid in increasing exposure and engagement.” These should be easily shareable outside of the podcaster’s page. Short-form snippets have been a popular method for Twitch streamers to share highlights from their extended shows, and Facebook appears to believe that the same concept can be applied to podcasts.

In general, though, this change comes as the firm starts a genuine push towards audio. Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg held the first Reside Audio Room in the United States, and the firm also announced plans for a feature called Soundbites, which will live within the News Feed, in April. Soundbites’ goal is to provide users with a “sound studio in your pocket,” allowing them to make short, shareable recordings.

Furthermore, Facebook appears to be counting on the fact that podcasters already utilise the platform to generate interaction with their fans and promote their shows when it comes to podcasts. Directly publishing to the platform may help companies achieve those goals while also providing users an incentive to never leave the Facebook app. It’s also conceivable that Facebook sees value in podcast advertising, which Spotify has prioritised as it develops exclusive programming and its own ad network.


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