Twitter Spaces offers an area on the popular social network to create a “space” where you can have audio conversations with others. That space is public (at least for now) where anyone can join in order to speak or listen from the convenience of their mobile Twitter app.
It’s similar to the likes of Clubhouse and the Spotify live audio app, except that Twitter already has a built-in social network where you can invite followers or even complete strangers to your conversations.
Twitter Spaces is in its early stages, so we should see additional features come out as time passes and more people start to use it.
But for now, keep reading to learn about the current features of Twitter Spaces, how to launch a live Space, and which ways you can use it for your small business.
The simplicity of Twitter Spaces makes for a useful business-building and networking tool, even for those who’re not that tech-savvy. We’re not sure we’d recommend it if that’s the only reason you plan on making a Twitter account, but the features make sense if you’re already utilizing Twitter or have somewhat of a following.
The feature list isn’t a long one, but we expect to see more added to Twitter Spaces as people learn about it.
Here’s what you can expect right now:
Overall, these features come together to create a simplified version of what you might find on conference call apps like Skype, Zoom, Clubhouse, and Spotify. You generate a space, assign speakers, post an announcement about it, then run the Twitter Space with all of the collaboration and interactivity you would usually expect from Twitter.
Twitter even helps you promote the Space to get new listeners and allow you to reach out to others interested in your brand.
Twitter Spaces offers many uses for regular individuals wanting to chat with their friends or family, but what about small businesses that would like to take advantage of this new social feature?
Although we’re sure you can think of even more ways to capitalize on Twitter Spaces, here are a few ideas:
The goal with Twitter Spaces is to quickly create a conversation area on Twitter with the functionality to have one or multiple speakers and an unlimited number of listeners.
That’s all available through the Twitter app on your phone. We may see support for other devices in the future, but for now, you must download the Android or iPhone version of the Twitter app. It won’t work on your desktop or mobile browser.
In the Twitter app, navigate to your profile’s home feed. This can be done in a personal or business Twitter account.
Click and hold down the Tweet button (the one with a pen and + icon) to reveal additional options.
⚠️ Note: Simply clicking and not holding that button brings you to the regular Tweet area. That’s not what you want.
Three buttons with icons appear after holding the button.
One, a collection of dots formed into a diamond, is for starting a live Twitter Space.
Click on that.
One requirement is to have your microphone working for the Twitter Space. Otherwise, your listeners won’t hear anything.
Flip the switch to Allow Mic Access in order to tell your phone to give Twitter access to the built-in microphone.
The next step is optional. You can flip the Share Captions switch to allow captions to go along with what’s being said. In the background, it simply turns on the voice recognition software on your phone to make a fairly accurate assumption as to what’s being talked about. That text is then presented for those who like captions, are deaf, or have trouble hearing.
Choose the Next button to move on.
There’s a small area on the next page to type in a detailed title and description of your upcoming Twitter Space session. We’re using a DIY Bike Maintenance discussion as an example.
Keep in mind that, much like tweets, there is a limit to the number of characters available for the title.
You also have the option to choose the Schedule For Later button, which prompts you to select to run your session at some date in the future.
That area offers a scrolling date field where you choose a date and time, then click on the Schedule button to proceed.
Scheduling a Twitter Space creates a module with the time, owner, and title of that Space.
It’s prudent to choose the Share button to let people know about the upcoming event so they can add it to their calendars and get notifications.
Ways to share your scheduled Twitter Space include:
Whether you immediately launch your Twitter Space (instead of scheduling it) or you get to the date and time of a scheduled Space, at some point you actually have to run and manage the Twitter Space event.
In that situation, the bottom of your Twitter app becomes the command center for the entire space.
View the host, speakers, and listeners, while also switching speakers and looking at comments or emojis.
There’s a primary Mic button that tells you whether or not your mic is in the On position. This comes in handy if you need to mute yourself, or to simply start the Twitter Space discussion in the first place.
Four icons are available at the bottom of the live Twitter Spaces module.
One has two human icons, and it’s there for you to view speakers, listeners, and removed listeners.
Listeners join naturally (or through your shared links), but you must invite speakers for them to be added as Speaker user roles.
To do so, click the Add Speakers link. That then brings up a search bar to type in and seek out people on Twitter you may want to ask to speak on the topic.
What’s great is that you’re not limited to users you follow, or who follows you, on Twitter. You can invite anyone with a public profile. Having said that, you better contact them beforehand to ensure they’re not thrown off guard and that they have time to prepare for the discussion.
You’ll see a list of the invited speakers and an option to cancel the invite if you receive no response. In addition, you get a notification when a speaker accepts your invitation, and that user gets logged as a Speaker user role for the Twitter Space.
Two parts of the Twitter Spaces infrastructure make it ideal for accumulating listeners.
First of all, you’re able to click the Share button for your Space and bring up options to share the direct link via DM, Tweet, or various other outlets with a link or through your phone’s sharing capabilities.
In addition, Twitter adds your live Space to the Twitter Moments area at the top of the app. This way, your followers see that a live Space is happening at that moment and can click to start listening.
Finally, Twitter states that your Space gets distributed in some way using keywords and relevant topics so the entire public Twitter community can chime in if they want.
As you speak about your topic (or while another speaker is talking) you have the opportunity to modify settings, block users, and even field questions or responses.
For example, clicking the “…” icon reveals a button to Adjust Settings.
Here, you can change who’s allowed to speak during the session and alter settings for things like captions and sound effects.
There’s also an area for listeners and speakers to send emojis, displaying their different emotions and responses to what’s said in the Twitter Space.
As for written conversation, users are still able to write comments and “Like” the Space as long as you’ve previously shared the Space to your Twitter feed.
Once the conversion is over, you can click the End button to completely cut off the Twitter Space from listeners and speakers.
Remember, there’s no publicly saved copy of the conversation so other people can’t come back to listen if they missed the meeting time.
⚠️ Note: Twitter states the owner of the Space can download a recorded version but that’s not included by default. You must activate the Your Twitter Data Download Tool.
Technically, Twitter Spaces is a response, competitor, and somewhat of a knockoff of the Clubhouse app.
They’re both audio-based chatrooms fueled by social interactions. They also both offer profiles, speakers, and options for interactivity.
But that begs the question: what are the main differences?
Twitter Spaces isn’t for every type of business, but it expands upon the quick conversation possible on Twitter, especially for those already familiar with Twitter.
Here’s our recommendation:
Are you planning to use Twitter Spaces? Share your plans in the comments below!
Joe is a Chicago-based writer who dabbles in social media, WordPress, and eCommerce tools. When not riding his bike in Chicago he's camping in Wisconsin.
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