Twitter Spaces Rolls Out Ticketed Social Audio Rooms
Twitter has begun allowing some Twitter Spaces hosts to charge money for joining their rooms. The new ticketing feature lets approved Twitter Spaces hosts set prices and room sizes, controls likely to be imitated by the many social audio platforms proliferating this year. Twitter tied the new feature to the unveiling of the new Super Follows option, which lets influencers create a subscription fee for access to exclusive content on their Twitter page.
Not just anyone can offer tickets, and the bar is significantly higher than the 600 followers needed to host any Twitter Spaces room. You need to have at least 1,000 active followers and to have hosted a minimum of three Spaces over the last month. Ticketing is also limited to those over 18 who live in the U.S. for now. Those interested in applying can check their eligibility and submit a request in the Twitter app’s sidebar under monetization.
Those hosts who Twitter approves can then start creating and scheduling their rooms. The host can set the ticket price for any dollar amount from $1 to $999 and designate how many can be sold. Twitter Spaces could have 1,000 people paying a dollar each or be an exclusive VIP event costing $999 for each of the five guests. Twitter takes a 3% cut of the total ticket revenue until and unless the host reaches $50,000 into total income, after which the cut jumps to 20%. The implication is that Twitter Spaces is not for major celebrities to hold big events but for smaller-scale influencers who don’t expect to earn $50,000 from their social audio work very quickly. The revenue share is the same for Super Follows, except the subscription fees can be set to $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 a month. The eligibility is an order of magnitude stricter, however, requiring, at minimum, 10,000 followers, along with at least 25 tweets in the last 30 days.
“Twitter is where people go to have real conversations about what’s happening. It’s a place where people can express themselves authentically and share their unfiltered thoughts in the moment,” Twitter product managers Ellen Havlicek and Esther Crawford explained in a blog post. “We want to help make Twitter not just a fun place to engage your audience, but a place where you can earn money driving great conversations—whether you’re just starting out or have already built a following.”
Monetizing Twitter Spaces continues the battle over social audio that has raged all year. Twitter has been relatively quick to capitalize on Clubhouse’s success, adding an Android version before Clubhouse and recently making Spaces accessible on web browsers, an advantage over Clubhouse and startups like Quilt and Swell. However, Twitter’s biggest rival in social media is now its social audio rival, as Facebook just pushed out its new Live Audio Rooms feature. Facebook came out swinging with monetization in the form of Stars that attendees can buy and send to the host as a show of support. When the listener sends the Star, the host is alerted about who has tipped them. For those not interested in receiving the money, there’s an option to pick a Facebook-approved nonprofit or philanthropic fundraiser to support instead. Ticketing and subscription services are in the works, too, according to the social media giant’s social audio plans. And while Spotify’s new Greenroom app isn’t aiming at precisely the same audience as Twitter, the social audio competition is only beginning to rise in volume.