June 24, 2021Published by: Nicole Mezzasalma

How to get started on Twitter Spaces

In a recent blog we spoke about the rise of live social audio and why it’s here to stay. So far the spotlight has been on Clubhouse – the frontrunner in this arena – but now there are new challengers to the throne, Twitter Spaces being one of them.

Launched to a very small test group in November, Spaces has slowly but surely evolved over the last few months to become a true contender in the social audio field. Any Twitter user with 600 or more followers can currently host a Space, and with new features being released on an almost weekly basis, the feature is growing and evolving rapidly. 

Unlike Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces doesn’t require an invite to join the action; any Twitter user can see and participate in Spaces in the main Twitter feed. It’s also available across all platforms, including desktop, but for now you can only join a Space from the desktop app, rather than create one. Spaces will also soon allow recording using a native feature within the platform, something Clubhouse probably won’t support in the near future.

How do I create a Space?

On iOS, creating a Space is as easy as creating a new Tweet. You just need to click and hold the blue pen icon at the bottom right of your screen, and hit the Spaces icon, which, unlike other Twitter icons, is purple. A pop-up screen will appear, giving you the option to name your Space. You can either start it immediately or schedule it for a later date – you can currently schedule Spaces up to two weeks in advance.

How can I find a Space to join?

This is where things become trickier. In contrast to Clubhouse, Twitter doesn’t have a “hallway” where all the available Spaces for you to join are listed. Twitter is already working to solve this problem, but some test users report having access to a Spaces discovery tab as part of the menu on the bottom of the Twitter app. In time this will give users a handy list of ongoing Spaces they can listen to.

Until that’s rolled out, however, there are three ways you can find a Space:

  • If you follow someone who is in a Space, you’ll see that Space on the top menu (where Fleets are currently displayed), surrounded in purple – by clicking on that icon you’ll be able to join the Space as it happens.
  • People you follow who are in a Space will also have their profile picture/avatar surrounded by a purple halo if they post timeline updates that appear in your Twitter feed.
  • There’s also a specific line you can input into the Search box in Twitter to find any Space currently available to join: just use the query filter:spaces. If you want results only from people you follow, you can select that option. You can also search for Spaces on a particular topic by using filter:spaces [topic] – just make sure you replace the word topic with what you want to find, such as tech, news, beauty or any other theme.

Can anyone join my Space?

All Spaces are currently public, so anyone can join, including people who don’t follow you. Twitter is working on Ticketed Spaces, where people will need to either buy or be sent a ticket to join, creating private Spaces for the first time. That won’t be available to all users for a while yet, though. You can invite people to join your Spaces by tweeting a link to it, or sending DMs to specific people you’d like to attend.

How do Spaces work?

Whoever sets up a Space is the Host of that particular event. Currently there is only one Host per event, so the responsibility of moderating the Space is on that person, unlike Clubhouse, which allows for multiple moderators. Spaces are set by default so ‘Only people you invite to speak’ have their mics enabled – you can modify those permissions once the Space has been created. 

You can also invite specific people to speak within your Space, and depending on the settings listeners can request to speak, which will notify hosts of those requests. There is a limit of 11 people (the Host plus 10) as concurrent speakers. Spaces usually last between 30 and 60 minutes.

June has seen the social audio arena hot up, with Spotify launching its own app, Greenroom, and Facebook hosting the first demo of its live audio product — helmed by none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself. The summer promises even further developments, and we’ll continue to track and explore all the options available to help brands use this latest innovation effectively.

If you’d like to learn more about Twitter Spaces or audio social, please get in touch!

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