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Facebook to launch podcasts

Facebook will on Tuesday, June 22, roll out podcasts, and, eventually, add a feature that’ll allow listeners to create clips from their favorite shows.

As per information sent to podcast page owners, 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.

These episodes will show up on a “podcasts” tab that doesn’t appear to be live yet, but that the company teased in a wider announcement about audio initiatives in April.

“Facebook will be the place where people can enjoy, discuss, and share the podcasts they love with each other,” the company says in this email.

Podcasters who publish on the platform will also be opting into Facebook’s podcast terms of service.

It’s a relatively standard agreement, although it doesn’t have clear limits around what exactly Facebook can do with the podcasts distributed on its platform.

For example, it grants Facebook the right to make derivative works, which may be necessary for distributing shows in certain formats, but also might alarm podcasters who are protective over their IP.

Along with the option to distribute their show through Facebook, podcasters can decide whether to enable clips, which the company says will be created by listeners and last up to one minute in length.

These “may help increase visibility and engagement.” Presumably, these will be easily shareable outside of the podcaster’s page. Short-form clips have been a key way for Twitch streamers to share moments from their lengthy streams, and Facebook seems to hope the same idea can apply to podcasts.

This update comes as the company begins a legitimate push into audio.

Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg hosted the first Live Audio Room in the US yesterday, and in April, the company also announced plans for a feature called Soundbites, which will live within the News Feed.

The idea behind Soundbites is to give users a “sound studio in your pocket” and allow them to create short, shareable clips.

With podcasts, Facebook is seemingly banking on the fact that podcasters already use the platform to foster conversation with their listeners and to promote their shows.

Directly publishing to the platform might make it easier for them to accomplish those goals while also giving people a reason to never leave the Facebook app.

It’s also possible Facebook sees potential in podcast advertising, which Spotify has focused its efforts on as it launches exclusive shows and its own ad network.