Twitter will start recommending and streaming podcasts directly to users as part of a redesigned hub that groups live and recorded audio content by category.

The podcast integration, which signals Twitter’s continued expansions into audio, launched Thursday to a select group of English-speaking iOS and Android users via the Spaces tab on Twitter’s mobile app. Categories in the redesigned tab include news, sports and music; each category will include live audio rooms, replays of recorded rooms and popular podcast episodes from those categories that will be personalized based on user interests.

To bring the podcast episodes onto the platform, a Twitter spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that the company is pulling from existing RSS feeds and will tailor the recommendations based on the topics a user follows and the general interests tied to their accounts. Users can also submit “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” reactions to podcasts to further customize their recommendations.

As of the test launch, Twitter appears to be following a Pandora-esque model for podcasts, rather than trying to compete with Spotify and Apple Podcasts. The company, which said 45 percent of its users in the U.S. also listen to podcasts monthly, has not disclosed when it will roll out the podcast integration to all users.

“We know that some discussions need more than 280 characters, and bringing people closer to the ideas, content, and creators they know and love is core to Twitter no matter where the conversations take place,” Twitter said in a blog post announcing the test feature.

Source