While images once dominated the social media landscape (and they still do), audio has gained momentum in the last couple of years. The social audio app Clubhouse created a lot of buzz when it launched in 2020 on an invite-only basis. Now Twitter has come up with Twitter Spaces to facilitate live audio conversations on the platform.
In this post, we take a closer look at Twitter Spaces – what it is, why you should use it and how you can use it for your brand. Let’s get started.
What is Twitter Spaces?
Twitter Spaces is a new feature that allows users to have live audio conversations on the platform. Users can host these conversations in an audio chat room called a “Space” and invite other users to participate. If someone you follow is hosting Space or a Speaker in one, it’ll show up as a purple bubble at the top of your timeline for the duration of the conversation.
Anyone with 600 or more followers can now host a Space on Twitter. So if you’re looking to expand your offerings, it’s about time you grow your Twitter following to make use of this feature. Twitter Spaces is available for both individuals and businesses, allowing them to build more personal connections with their audiences.
In addition, Twitter Spaces is open to the public, which means that anyone can join as a Listener. Up to 13 people can speak in a Space, including a Host and two Co-hosts.
Why use Twitter Spaces?
Conversations are happening live, right now. The best part is users no longer have to limit their thoughts to 280 characters. They can speak for as long as they’d like and receive responses in real-time from other speakers in the Space.
This brings conversations to life and encourages people to have more open discussions. Having a feature like Spaces also helps users create stronger connections with their audiences. So it’s a great way for businesses to engage their customers, especially now that Twitter usage is increasing among consumers.
How to start Twitter Spaces
Currently, you can only start a Twitter Space from the Android or iOS app. There’s no option to start one from the web version (yet), but you can still join as a Listener.
For Hosts, there are two ways to start a Space on Twitter:
- Press and hold the “Compose” button then select the icon for new Spaces. This will look like multiple circles in the shape of a diamond.
- From your timeline, tap on your profile image at the top. Then scroll right and tap on the option to start a new Space.
In the next steps, you can begin to set up your Space before going live:
Name your Space
Give your Space a name that’s relevant to the upcoming conversation. Or create a hashtag as a name for the Space as a way to keep the conversation going after the event has ended. Or you could collect followers’ questions using the hashtag before the event and answer those questions live during a Space.
Here’s an example of a Twitter Space with a hashtag as a name:
Set up permissions and captions
When you first start using Spaces, Twitter will ask for permission to consent to having their speech captioned in real time. Transcriptions make your Space more accessible for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. Twitter also plans on making Spaces accessible for screen readers in the future.
Once you have created a Space as a Host, there are a few ways to get people to join the conversation, whether as a Speaker or a Listener. In the lower right-hand corner, you’ll find a few different options, one of which is to “get more people to join.” This looks like a small arrow pointing upward.
Tap on this button and select whether you want to:
- Invite Speakers via DM
- Share your Space via Tweet so your followers can join
- Copy the link to your Space to share it somewhere else
In addition to the Host, Twitter allows you to add up to 12 more Speakers in your Space: two Co-hosts and 10 Speakers. While anyone can send a request to speak in your Space, you can also add restrictions on who can speak.
As Host, you have the option to:
- Allow everyone the option to speak. This means anyone can send a request to speak, but not necessarily speak all at once.
- Allow only people you follow to speak.
- Allow only the people you invite to speak.
As a Host or Speaker, you can also:
- Manage your speakers. You can mute them, remove them from the Space or block them entirely. This is an excellent feature to use in case someone is being disruptive or offensive.
- Pin Tweets to the Space. This is a useful feature to highlight the subject of your discussion.
- Turn on captions while speaking. This will make your Space more accessible for listeners who might be hard of hearing or prefer captioning.
As a Listener you can:
- React to what you hear with emojis
- Check out any pinned Tweets
- Follow along with captions (or turn captioning off)
- Tweet or send a private message to other participants
- Request to speak (if the host has made the Space accessible for everyone to speak)
- Block other users or Spaces
How organizations can benefit from using Twitter Spaces
For businesses that are already leveraging Twitter to cultivate a brand community, Spaces will help amplify those efforts. Here are a few ways you can use Twitter Spaces to benefit your organization:
Share company updates or announcements
Create a Space to share information about product updates, policy changes, new or upcoming products, feature updates and more. This is a great way to keep your followers in the loop and engaged with your company.
The Twitter Spaces team themselves have been hosting Spaces to share community updates.
Host discussions on trending industry topics
Further build your authority in the industry by hosting discussions on trending topics. This could include commentary, future predictions and tips related to the topic.
To get even more visibility for your Space, invite industry influencers as speakers to your event. Twitter has even introduced an option to invite up to two Co-hosts in your Space, so you can add influencers as Co-hosts. Again, be aware that Co-hosts can manage requests, invite speakers, remove participants and pin Tweets.
Keep in mind that Co-hosts will count toward your speaker capacity. Again, it’s up to two Co-hosts and 10 Speakers for a total of 13 — including you!
Nurture your brand community
Twitter Spaces gives you the perfect forum to interact with your followers in real-time and build connections with them. Hosting a Space gives your audience an opportunity to engage with your business. This could include conversations related to customer service, live Q&A forums, feedback sessions and more.
Twitter’s research director Reggie Murphy also hosted a Twitter Space to gain feedback related to direct messages.
Join us for Feedback Friday!
We’d like to talk to you about DMs, especially if it’s not your thing.
— Reggie Murphy (@reggiemurphy) July 16, 2021
What to expect from Twitter Spaces in the future
Twitter is constantly improving the Spaces function to make it even more beneficial to businesses and individual users alike. Here are a few features and updates you can expect to see in the near future:
Twitter is testing the option for hosts to create Ticketed Spaces, where listeners can gain exclusive access to the conversations. Once this feature goes live, you’ll have the option to create Spaces with a limited number of seats and charge a fee to join the conversation.
Twitter Spaces has acknowledged the desire to monetize Spaces, which is why they’re experimenting with the concept of Ticketed Spaces.
Scheduling Spaces and setting reminders
Hosts will also have the option to schedule a Space for a future date. And you won’t need to set your own alarm as you can sign up to get notified when it’s due to start. The same is true for our followers. They can set a reminder when they see your Tweet promoting the Space.
Twitter is also working to enhance accessibility by improving the live caption feature. Not only is the goal to make captions more accurate, but users will also have the option to pause or customize them as needed.
Bring your conversations to life on Twitter
With the ability to facilitate live audio conversations, there’s no doubt that Twitter Spaces will make way for authentic engagement. Since this is a fairly new feature, it’s the perfect time to leverage it to gain a competitive edge. So make sure you start adding it to your Twitter marketing toolbox.
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