Facebook will reportedly roll out a dedicated Podcast tab on creators’ pages “next week." The social media giant is also said to add a Clips feature to allow users to form podcast snippets for promotional purposes. Reported to be under development at least since April 2021, users will be able to check out podcasts under a new tab on Facebook. The dedicated tab will sit between the About and Photos tabs at the top of the page. With this development, Facebook would hope to retain audiences on the platform with another multimedia format. Over the years, the platform added several sections that include Marketplace, Watch, Gaming Videos, Live Videos, Jobs, and Play Games to attract customers with varied interests. Podcasts’ popularity has spiked in the last few years, and according to a PWC report, India would have over 17.61 million listeners by 2023. The podcasts on the Facebook app would likely play in the background when the phone is locked.
According to an email sent to podcast page owners and viewed by The Verge, hosts can link their show’s RSS feed up to Facebook, which will then automatically generate News Feed posts for all episodes published moving forward. Facebook even confirmed to the publication that a limited number of page owners would have access. However, emails are still being sent to additional page owners, suggesting the rollout might be wider than initially anticipated. Interestingly, Facebook’s podcast Terms of Service link is already live that notes the company has the rights to make “derivative works" with the content. The exact meaning of the term remains unclear. Coming to Clips, it appears that creators need to enable the option. “People can create and share their favourite clips, less than one minute in length, which may help in increasing visibility and engagement," the description of the tool reads. The tab and the audio clips feature are said to roll out on June 22. Facebook would to rival popular podcasts aggregators by at least providing a free experience (for now). Apple recently rolled out podcasts subscriptions in 170 countries with iOS 14.6 and higher.