Twitter is fast upping it's game in the audio social media space. After announcing last month it was fast-tracking its roll-out it finally landed into my Twitter app this morning.
So, who's going to win this battle for audio social media - Twitter or Clubhouse?
Given I'm curious person I figured I'd just switch it on and try it out and I've already spoken to someone in the UK and someone else in Japan (who were both just as curious as I was about the new feature).
There is no doubt in my mind that audio is the next big thing in social media.
Podcasts are great but they're one-way.
LinkedIn Live is brilliant but the time-lag means audiences can't engage real-time.
As this article states:
Clubhouse has now seen 13 million total downloads, which is amazing growth for an invite-only app, but Twitter has 192 million daily active users, a huge pool from which it could potentially drive significant audience reach for audio social broadcasters, which prove to be a key lure for its Spaces offering.
As soon as I knew Twitter Spaces were in pilot I held off trying to build my Clubhouse empire. Don't get me wrong, I've dabbled in Clubhouse and am hosting a session on Wednesday about Employee Generated Content. I love the platform but it has its limitations:
- Listeners can't engage with the conversation (e.g. emojis) unless they're on the panel.
- Rapidly hitting the mute button isn't the best way to engage!
- The Admin functionality is very limited in terms of who can manage a club
- There's not auto-subtitling so conversations are limited to only those that can hear/speak
- Only available on iOS - not Android
- Invitation only
Incidentally, all of the above are where Twitter is excelling at the moment - they're opening up to different operating systems, anyone can join a conversation and the engagement from the audience is much easier.
Here's my take after playing briefly in Spaces and given my limited experience with Clubhouse. Spaces might just be the golden nugget that Twitter needed to bring communities back to the platform on a more regular basis.
The user base is already there. No sign-ups, invitations or iOS needed. Is Twitter making it so accessible to win over Clubhouse users?
Right now, Spaces is also intertwined with Fleets, but as it becomes a bigger consideration, and as Twitter looks to capitalize on the rising popularity of the option, a dedicated tab would make sense. Clubhouse, the current leader in the audio social space, has its virtual 'hallway' in the app, with each discussion taking place in a 'room', so you can browse through the real-time discussions in progress, and join in as you see fit. A dedicated Spaces tab would essentially serve the same purpose, and as Twitter brings Spaces to more users, that could become an even more important element in connecting more people to relevant Spaces content within the app.