Facebook seems to be serious with their push into audio with Mark Zuckerberg hosting their first Live Audio Room this week. As we wait for the rollout of their version of Clubhouse, other audio content will start rolling out as well. The podcast product will start rolling out to the platform by the week of June 21 as content creators have started receiving emails from the social media giant. There will eventually be a podcasts tab so users will have an easier time finding podcasts and listen to them on Facebook itself, without having to switch to another app.
The Verge shares that Facebook has sent emails to those who have podcast pages on the platform. They are encouraged to link their show’s RSS feed to Facebook so that when they have a new episode, it will automatically generate a post on the News Feed. Eventually, there will be a podcast tab in the podcast page where fans can see all the episodes that have been added through the feed. The idea is so users can listen to the episode without having to leave the Facebook app.
Before you start publishing on the platform, you will of course have to opt into Facebook’s terms of service for podcasts which all content creators should read first of course. One thing that might give pause to some podcasters is that you will grant rights for Facebook to create “derivative works” which may be necessary to distribute shows in some formats. You have the option to enable clips that will let listeners clip up to a minute from an episode and share it on their timeline, outside of the podcaster’s page.
These are most likely for marketing purposes and also to increase visibility and engagement which is one of the strengths of Facebook despite everything. But still, it might make some podcasters think twice about putting their content on Facebook directly. In order for the podcast feature on Facebook to become successful, they need to get a lot of podcasters on board, especially the major players. How to convince them to do so would be the challenge.
Facebook has been going for a major push for audio content after focusing on video for the past few years. Aside from the Live Audio Room which they plan to roll out soon, they also previously announced Soundbites, a feature on your News Feed, which lets users create short audio clips meant to be shared. Let’s see how the podcast feature will be received in its early days.