The effect of being inside due to COVID-19 has changed the way we communicate with each other online. In the last year, we’ve seen the growth of the audio-only app Clubhouse which allows users to have audio conferences with anyone around the world. Users can jump in and out of these discussions on their timeline. The app has grown with more users through the wide variety of topic discussions happening on the app, celebrity involvement and PR stunts which has raised the profile of the app.
With the growth and continued popularity of Clubhouse, other social media platforms have looked into ways they can manoeuvre in the social audio conference space. One which is in beta is Twitter’s Spaces. As quoted on the official Twitter Spaces account “Twitter Spaces is where live audio conversations happen. We’re in test mode but rolling out soon. Stay tuned!”, the platform launched at the end of 2020 and has started to roll out the feature to selected users across North America and Europe. Unlike Twitter, Spaces is available to both Android and iPhone OS, includes captioning and also provides transcripts post conversation.
While any Twitter user on Android and iOS has the ability to join an existing Space, only select users have the ability to create a Twitter Space, given it is still in testing, though the company is rolling it out to more people.
If you’re one of the select few, creating a Space is really easy. To create a Space, go to your Twitter home page and long press on the ‘compose tweet’ button. This will open up a new Spaces icon next to it. Click on it to start your Space. Alternatively, you can also tap on your profile image in Fleets, scroll to the far right and tap Spaces. Twitter has revealed that it will soon bring the ability to create and join Spaces for everyone soon.
How Does It Work
When creating a Twitter Space, a host can choose who can speak. The host may allow everyone, people you follow or only invited people to speak. Only 11 people can speak in a Space at any one given time, including the host. Spaces are public and anyone can join your Space as a listener, including people who don’t follow you.
If you’re hosting a Space, you can let in listeners by DMing them the link to your Space. Alternatively, you may also share the link elsewhere or tweet it out. Listeners can also request permission to speak in a Space. The host can then grant or revoke the ability to speak from any listener in the Space. (Indian Express)
How It Appeals To Creators
According to 9to5 Mac, Twitter Spaces will soon have a ‘Tip Jar’ to let users support content creators with donations. On Clubhouse, the host will have Paypal or Cashapp links in their bios to request donations. Recently, Clubhouse has added an option for US creators to receive donations from others on Clubhouse. The Tip Jar option can be integrated with popular payment services like Bandcamp, Patreon, Venmo, and Cash App. Once this option goes live, people listening to Spaces on Twitter will be able to easily send money to the host of the conversation.
As Spaces is in beta mode, it is unsure how brand-friendly Spaces will turn out to be. But this could be a great way for brands/companies to take customer feedback, engage directly with people, roll out new product features and host industry-related discussions. Like Clubhouse, Spaces does seem dependent on the host of each audio room. Brands will need to align themselves with voices to moderator the rooms, be a voice and help build the brand via Spaces. Having a Spaces of Clubhouse room is a good and cost-effective way to expose the brand. The addition of creating transcripts is a good way to then use this information in future on-feed social posts, research and for people who visit the brand's website. The features of Spaces is promising and looks like it could be a real rival to Clubhouse.