Twitter has begun testing Spaces, its new feature for live audio. The experiment could significantly change how users interact on the platform, though it’s just a small test for now.
the human voice can bring a layer of connectivity to twitter through emotion, nuance and empathy often lost in text. we see this with voice tweets & voice dms. sometimes 280 isn't enough, and voice gives people another way to join the conversation.— Spaces (@TwitterSpaces) December 17, 2020
Spaces, which has been widely compared to social app Clubhouse, is a sort of audio-enabled chatroom within Twitter. Users can create a “space” that their followers can join to participate in a conversation. Anyone on Twitter can listen in on the conversation, though only the host can control who gets to speak.
Like Fleets, Spaces will also have emoji reactions, so participants can engage with the conversation. Twitter also plans to add automatic transcriptions to make the feature more accessible.
As we previously noted when Twitter discussed Spaces last month, the feature could prove to be controversial. Clubhouse, an audio app popular in Silicon Valley, has faced pushback for lax moderation policies (a topic Twitter is no stranger too, either). For now, it seems like Twitter is using this early test to work through these issues. The company says the initial version of Spaces will be open to “a limited group of individuals primarily from under-represented backgrounds” before it’s available more widely.