Social & Digital Update: Twitter Spaces

Twitter is now officially getting into the live conversations and community space. Originally launched in beta back in December 2020, Twitter has launched Twitter Spaces for all.

Spaces is Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse but while Clubhouse is iOS only and invite only, Spaces will be for all Twitter users regardless of their operating system.

While both Spaces and Clubhouse are similar, there are some differences.

Spaces allows up to 10 users to come together to create a live audio-only chat experience. There is however no limit to the number of listeners.

Using Twitter Spaces is handy enough, once you long press the compose button and tap the spaces icon. From here, you can invite other Twitter users, or start your own chats.

Spaces shows up along the top of the app in the same way as Twitter Fleets. Tapping an active Space lets you drop into an ongoing conversation.

Twitter will also be providing a live transcription feature so that you can stay involved in the conversation if for any reason you can’t have your volume enabled.

Unlike Clubhouse, Spaces are public and anyone can join in. It is also easy to remove, report or block any user - which should help moderate content. There are also controls to enable who gets to speak in the Space.

There are still some question marks around discoverability; unlike Clubhouse searching for topics, active spaces and users is not well defined on Twitter.

While Clubhouse has gained headlines and captured imaginations with its invite only exclusivity and focused discussions, the 2 million weekly active user base pales in comparison to Twitter's 192 million global daily active users.

Both Twitter and Clubhouse have different policies around storing your data. Clubhouse automatically deletes its recordings when the room ends (unless a user reports a violation of the during the chat where Clubhouse will then hold onto the data until the investigation is complete). Twitter has stated that it will store copies of all conversations on Twitter Spaces, its new live audio feature, for at least 30 days in order to check for platform violations. If a violation is detected, Twitter can then hold copies of a conversation for up to 90 days in order to provide time for a user-requested appeals process.

The launch of Twitter Spaces is yet another example of established social platforms using their scale to fend off innovators looking to get in on the act. It remains to be seen if Twitter’s Spaces will be as effective as Instagram fending off Snapchat with Stories, or will it be as ineffective as Instagram fending off TikTok with Reels.

We’ll keep our ear to the ground.