Podcasts with members in different locations rejoice, virtual reality may be your salvation.
Slate and Facebook have partnered up to create the first virtual reality (VR) podcast from within Facebook Spaces. It’s a VR application where users can meet, chat, and interact with the digital toys at their disposal, a perfect fit for a podcast. The first episode airs this Thursday.
Carrie Preston, known for her acting in “True Blood” and “The Good Wife,” will be the first guest on the show. More recently she also starred as Susan in Netflix’s “To The Bone.” She will be interviewed by Slate Culture Editor, Dan Kois, inside of the application. Each question will have a one minute response time, and the audience members from Facebook Live will be able to comment what’s going on in real-time.
The idea for a VR podcast in video format had been circulating around the office for some time. But as the team previewed Facebook Spaces last year, they quickly decided that this was a much better option. Editor in Chief at Slate, Julia Turner, spoke to Variety about the show. She said, “We‘ve been looking at VR as a medium for journalism for the past several years. However, most VR journalism is focused on empathy-inducing documentaries, something that didn’t quite gel with Slate’s opinion-focused brand.” Instead, she says they’re after “a kind of intimacy that feels very different from a video call.” She argues that it “feels like you are in a new space together.”
Facebook Spaces was launched in April this year, and earlier this month the social media giant launched the ability to stream live from inside VR. It makes perfect sense that one of the first to jump onboard with something like this is a podcast, considering its interactive nature, and we’d be surprised if more podcasters didn’t follow suit. The opportunity to be in a shared space where you can interact with each other and use body language, all while engaging both through visuals and audio is inarguably a very effective way to connect with a larger audience. Facebook Spaces provides an ample opportunity for podcasters to reach out to their audience, especially the countless podcasts where the members are engaging from different and distant locations.