NPR experimented with audio clips on Facebook

NPR ran a month long experiment using the new Facebook audio player (designed for music streaming services) to understand how to improve the shareability of audio on social media.

Serri Graslie (member of NPR’s Editorial Training team) writing for NiemanLab lays out the problems:

The fundamental challenges (on sharing audio on social media): It’s hard to multitask with spoken-word audio when you’re browsing other things. We still don’t have a true “BuzzFeed for audio” to elevate clips with viral potential. And now silent autoplay videos on Facebook and Twitter are training users to expect an entirely different engagement experience.

This was different to the audiograms because instead of using audio clips embedded in a video, they used the Facebook audio player.

We don’t know what Facebook’s larger plans for the player are, but this experiment may inform how they think about editorial audio in the future. Going forward, we will use it sparingly when we have a clip that really fits the form and can justify the complicated workflow involved to get it published.