Facebook is moving to the next stage with its podcast/Page integration plan, which will provide more ways for podcasters to promote their podcast content in-app by directly connecting their audio content back to their Facebook audiences for listening in-stream.
As reported by The Verge, Facebook is now contacting selected Page owners with this new notification, which says that they will be able to connect their podcast's RSS feed into their Facebook Page, which will then automatically generate connected, playable News Feed posts for all episodes published moving forward.
As you can see here, the notification explains that users will be able to 'listen to every episode directly on Facebook' via its new podcast integration tools, starting from June 22nd. The notification also refers to a new podcast tab on Pages, which hasn't been officially confirmed as yet, but is also likely coming soon.
Facebook first outlined its plans for a podcast integration process back in April as part of its broader suite of audio social tools, in response to the rise of Clubhouse.
As Facebook outlined at the time:
"Within the next few months, you’ll be able to listen to podcasts directly on the Facebook app - both while using the app or when the app is backgrounded. And because it’s still hard to discover podcasts you like, we will help you easily find new podcasts and episodes based on your interests, comment on them and recommend them to your friends."
The new integration with Pages is the next stage in this, providing a more direct way for followers of Facebook Pages to discover relevant podcasts from the people that they're already interested in, while also providing another avenue for podcast promotion to the app's 2.85 billion users.
In addition to this, The Verge also notes that within Facebook’s podcast terms of service, there's a reference to a new audio clips option, which will enable Facebook users to create and share short clips (less than a minute) of your podcast audio in the app.
That could be another way to help boost awareness of podcasts, which could end up being a big boost for listenership, particularly for those who have an established, engaged Facebook community.
The addition of podcasts into the Facebook experience aligns with the company's broader push on creator monetization tools, which is designed to both assist artists and creators that have been impacted by COVID-19, while also making Facebook a more attractive partner platform for these highly followed voices.
By integrating more monetizable tools, like podcasts, and soon, newsletters as well, Facebook could become a more important partner for creators with which to build their business interests, which would then provide more impetus for them to keep posting original content to the platform, and also keep them aligned to Facebook's network specifically, as opposed to drifting off to, say, TikTok instead.
Which is the real race here. Every platform is now working to build in monetization tools to keep the top creators around and active - because the more content they provide for their audiences on each platforms, the more their followers will keep coming back to those apps, boosting engagement and ensuring the platforms themselves can maximize their own business interests through ads.
It will also help in advanced targeting, which is being impacted by the gradual shift towards increased user privacy, best highlighted, at present, by Apple's ATT update in iOS 14.5. As more platforms look to provide more privacy tools, which restrict data tracking, that will impact Facebook's advanced ad targeting tools - but if Facebook can help more creators build audiences, and maximize engagement on the platform, that immediately provides it with connection to targeted, focused niche groups, based around specific topics and interests.
Facebook already has groups for this, and direct audience connection around podcasts and newsletters will enhance this even further, giving The Social Network another avenue for targeting.
Fending off TikTok with one hand, welcoming more revenue potential with the other.
Facebook is contacting selected Pages now in regards to the coming podcast update.