Twitter Spaces Beats Clubhouse to Provide Social Audio on Android
Twitter has expanded the beta for its Spaces social audio platform to Android devices. The social media giant had previously limited Spaces to iOS devices, but people using Android can now apply to try out Spaces as Twitter pushes to refine the platform for wide release.
Android folks, our beta is growing! starting today you will be able to join and talk in any Space. SOON you’ll be able to create your own but we’re still working out some things. keep your 👀 out for live Spaces above your home tl
— Spaces (@TwitterSpaces) March 2, 2021
The Spaces Twitter account announced the news on the social media platform this week, ahead of a live chat and Q&A within Twitter Spaces on the topic of Android access and its plans for improving the platform. Currently, iOS and Android users can mostly just join and listen in on rooms, with a small number of iOS users invited to experiment with hosting a room too. Spaces first appeared in a limited form in January, as social audio app Clubhouse exploded in popularity, hitting more than 10 million users in mid-February. Clubhouse is still only on iOS, however. If Twitter can launch a complete, usable version of Spaces for both iOS and Android before Clubhouse, it may be able to take advantage of the enormous potential userbase of people who only own Android devices.
Twitter may have big plans for Spaces, but it’s only one of the audio features the company is incorporating into its platform. Twitter started enabling audio tweets last summer, followed by tests of audio direct messages, in India, Brazil, and Japan, earlier this year. Both tweets and messages are restricted to 140 seconds of audio, adding another option to the video, pictures, and GIF messages. The company faced criticism for the lack of accessibility with audio tweets, apologizing for not offering a way for people with limited or no hearing to use the feature. Still, expanding Twitter Spaces to Android and combining the popularity of social audio at the moment with Twitter’s existing population, social graph, and connection to a social media platform could help it muscle Clubhouse out of the limelight at least partially.