Twitter Spaces is the social media giant’s attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Clubhouse and integrate it into their platform. It offers an experience that is similar, but yet seems more intimate and more geared towards talking with those who are a few degrees of separation from your social graph rather than talking with a brand new circle of friends. A unique feature to spaces is the option to automatically transcribe what is being said.
How To Space
Spaces appear in the same place that Fleets (Twitter’s answer to Instagram stories) do, and any Twitter user can join a space in progress. Only a select group of testers can create their own spaces however, which creates an interesting dynamic similar to the invite-only nature of Clubhouse. Spaces hosts have taken to putting a purple circle emoji in their Twitter display names to indicate they are able to host a space, possibly opening the door for these early testers to offer their space abilities to others on targeted topics. There is an application form, but submitting it is not a guarantee of being granted host abilities.
The quickest way to host a space is a long-press on the ‘Tweet’ button on the Twitter iOS mobile application, which reveals spaces as an icon of dots on bottom of the fly-out menu.
After creating a space, it will appear in the fleets bar with a pulsating purple circle around the host’s profile picture.
After the creation of a new space, a host can set who will be able to join as a speaker:
Everyone - This will let the first 10 people that join automatically become speakers.
People you follow - This will let any of your follows automatically become speakers (up to the 10-person limit).
Only people you invite to speak - You will have to explicitly invite people to speak.
There is also a brief introduction available by tapping the ‘What is Spaces?’ area, the most important item being the introduction of the 10-speaker limit.
After this selection, tapping the ‘Start your space’ button will launch the audio chat:
The size of the spaces interface can be changed to allow you to read Twitter at the same time as you’re chatting, however this will reduce the available menu options from the full view. The menu items are as follows:
Mic On/Off - A familiar control for Clubhouse users, this allows you to turn your mic on or off.
Advanced Features - The traditional ‘more’ three dot icon provides access to advanced features described below.
Adjust Settings - This menu item allows you to re-adjust speaker settings as well as adjust an option regarding viewing transcriptions.
Share Feedback - This feature allows quick access to sharing feedback about spaces via DM, as well as reporting any Trust and Safety violations in the space.
View Rules - This option is a link to the Twitter terms and conditions.
View Transcriptions - This toggles viewing transcriptions available in the space.
Reactions - This allows you to react to something being said in the space, tapping on a particular emoji will temporarily fill your avatar with that emoji, after which it will be displayed in the top right corner of your avatar before disappearing completely.
Share - The share icon will allow you to share the space with others via DM, Tweet, and copying the link.
Ending a space is achieved through the ‘Leave’ button in the top-right corner. The host can end the entire space at any time, while all other participants will simply exit the space without ending it for everyone else.
A unique feature to spaces is the ability to share tweets within the space, possibly as a supplement to something currently being discussed. Tapping the share icon on a Tweet will bring up the usual share options, including the ability to share it to the current space. If selected, the tweet will then be pinned to the space. Multiple tweets can be pinned to a space, and users can swipe between them (once added however, a Tweet cannot be removed from a space).
Are Spaces A Clubhouse Killer?
Twitter spaces are often referred to as a Clubhouse clone, however there are some innovative features such as the ability to pin tweets to each space. It remains to be seen who will ultimately prevail in the audio social arms race, and Twitter’s offering is largely viewed as Clubhouse’s biggest competition.