Twitter Spaces Social Audio Rooms Open If You Have More Than 600 Followers
Twitter announced a major update to its social audio platform Spaces on Monday. Any Twitter user with more than 600 followers can now host a room on both iOS and Android devices, and the rooms include new features like scheduling, live captions, and ticketing options. The update puts Twitter ahead of some of its social audio rivals even as new contenders continue to pop up.
Twitter Spaced Out
Twitter Spaces has been undergoing development and testing for several months before the general release on iOS and Android. Hosting duties are restricted to those with a proven following of at least 600 people, however, suggesting Twitter’s early plans are focused on getting influencers and celebrities to run the live chat rooms. To help people find the rooms, hosts in the middle of running a room will have a purple bubble around their profile picture that people can click on to go into the room.
“Based on what we’ve learned so far, these accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting live conversations because of their existing audience,” Twitter explained in a blog post. “Before bringing the ability to create a Space to everyone, we’re focused on learning more, making it easier to discover Spaces, and helping people enjoy them with a great audience. People already come to Twitter to talk about what’s happening. You’ve always followed people for their Tweets, now Spaces lets you hear their voices and talk about what’s happening now and what’s most important to you – live.”
Clubhouse and its millions of users may face stiff competition from Spaces, more than that from startups like Quilt and Swell. Twitter as an existing company expanding into social audio could end up competing more directly with Facebook’s social audio plans, including the new Instagram Live Rooms, or even Spotify’s new Greenroom setup, which is also focused on events and celebrities. But, while Spaces broadly performs much as it did during the testing, Twitter has already introduced extra controls and features for hosts, including allowing the host to mute all of the speakers at once. Next, the social media giant has plans for enabling multiple co-hosts and scheduling events, including reminders ahead of time. Twitter is also developing a ticketing system for shows with a price and number of tickets set by the host. Twitter will take a cut of the revenue, but the rest will go to the hosts. The talks themselves will also be more accessible, with the option to turn on, pause, and customize live captions for those who may have trouble hearing the people speaking.
“Spaces encourages and unlocks real, open conversations on Twitter with the authenticity and nuance, depth and power only the human voice can bring,” Twitter wrote. “Spaces are for small and intimate conversations with just a few others, or for big discussions about what’s unfolding right now with thousands of listeners.”