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Twitter is Working on a New Podcast Tab to Facilitate Discovery and Engagement

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Twitter is Working on a New Podcast Tab to Facilitate Discovery and Engagement


Twitter looks set to make podcasts a much bigger focus in the app, with a new test underway that would provide a dedicated tab for podcasts, reachable via both in the side and lower function bars of the app.

As you can see in this screenshot, posted by app researcher Alessando Paluzzi, Twitter is testing a new podcasts section in the sidebar.

App researching OG Jane Manchun Wong also found this example of an even more significant experiment – a podcasts button in the lower navigation panel.

Twitter podcasts

That suggests that Twitter is about to make a big leap into podcast discovery, which will likely enable podcasters to create direct links to their podcasts in the app, similar to how they’re now able to create active links to their newsletters, enabled by Twitter’s acquisition of Revue last year.

For podcasts, Twitter also acquired pod discovery app Breaker last year, which, at the time, seemed to be intended to improve the discovery of Spaces specifically, with the Breaker team noting that they would be incorporated into the Spaces development group.

Breaker app

Maybe, Twitter actually has bigger plans in mind for a more specific integration of Breaker’s podcast listening capacity, while it could also tie that into Spaces, with recorded Spaces then added as podcasts to listen to in the new tab.

It’s hard to say whether social audio will be an enduring, valuable trend for Twitter to lean into, with the popularity of Clubhouse dying down after its initial surge late last year. But then again, Clubhouse is still growing in some regions, and maybe, by enabling more discovery, Twitter will be able to tap into those same trends, and make Spaces a more significant consideration to more users.

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The addition will also likely tie into Twitter’s increasing creator push, in providing another way for creators to build audience around their content in the app. Podcasts, at the moment, are a predominantly passive experience, with the listener tuning in, then moving on, but part of the concept of Breaker was to also add in social elements, like episode comments and Likes, which could help to build engagement and community, and improve podcast discovery in the app.

If Twitter can get it right, it could indeed be a great addition, especially when you also consider that podcast listenership has increased significantly in recent years.

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According to Edison’s most recent ‘Infinite Dial’ report, 41% of American adults now listen to at least one podcast each month, up from 32% in 2019, while the total US podcast audience is expected to rise to 164 million per month by 2021, up from 120 million last year.

There’s a lot of opportunity there, and it’s an area that other social networks are not looking to capitalize on directly.

Maybe, that presents unique opportunity for Twitter, and another potential pathway to growth for the app.





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Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

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Elon Musk's Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots

Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.

According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.

Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.

And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.

Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.

In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:

  • Total user tweets (within a given time period)
  • Data on which devices were used

As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.

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It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:

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  • Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
  • Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
  • Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
  • Date, time, location, device info

That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.

I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.

But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.

But still, given Musk and Co’s past history of undermining and attacking critics, sacking trouble maker employees and digging up potential dirt on rivals, it sits a little uneasy.

Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).

According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.

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Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.

The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.

Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.

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Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.

It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.



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