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December 18, 2020

New Feature: Twitter Spaces

Testing for a brand new feature on Twitter has started this week and could permanently change the way we connect with each other online. Twitter Spaces gives users the ability to share audio clips and host ‘spaces’, which are chat rooms that allow a host to choose who participates in tweeting and sharing audio clips. This isn’t the first idea that encourages people to communicate online via audio; a social media platform named Clubhouse was created in 2016 and is available only to exclusive members, such as celebrities and those they invite. The app is voice-based; users to talk about a range of topics in ‘rooms’ and the host can control who can participate within the virtual rooms. Clubhouse has recently become very popular, with people wondering whether voice-based social could become the next big thing!

Twitter are testing the feature on a small number of iOS users, and want to find out how well the audio-based spaces will perform. Many have expressed their concerns about the new Spaces feature, as there are many cases of harassment and bullying that come with posting online, which are themselves sometimes difficult for Twitter to moderate. Allowing users to create private chat rooms with voice-based communication could lead to a big increase of trolling and abuse online. Twitter addressed the issue and have confirmed that users will be able to report or block anyone that has participated in their space and broken Twitter rules.

How Do I Create a Space?

At the moment, Twitter Spaces will only be tested on a few hundred people, but if you are one of the chosen users then there are two main ways to create a space. The first is to press and hold the blue compose button in the lower right hand corner of the app and choose the icon that represents spaces. The second is to use the fleets creation screen and swipe right to create and invite users to your own space. Once you have created your space you can invite other Twitter users via a link or a DM. Although the feature is being tested and won’t be available for everyone, you will be able to join a space if invited, even if you do not have the feature to host yourself.

Why Have Twitter Created Spaces?

Twitter aim to transform the way that people communicate online so that it is much more personal and gives users around the world a chance to truly connect. Using your voice is much more intimate than writing a Tweet and has people feel that they really know you so that deeper and more meaningful conversations can take place online.

For now, Twitter Spaces is brand new and may present issues that need resolving before the feature can be rolled out to all 330 million users. Do you think Twitter Spaces is a good idea?

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