Twitter continues to refine its audio Spaces presentation, this time through the addition of a new Spaces end card on desktop, which will provide more information about the Space upon completion of the live broadcast.
Up till now, completed Spaces have provided no specific info, other than the title and host, in-stream.
But now, when you tap on the ‘Space Ended’ button (on web), you’ll be taken through shown a new detail card, which lists when the Space ended, who hosted the event (along with their profile image), and a list of speakers that took part.
Only speakers are listed in the end card, not listeners – which would potentially open up a whole new set of privacy concerns. In this context, the list of speakers is all most people will really want to know anyway, which could also help guide users to other profiles to check out related to the focus topic.
It’s a handy update, providing more context to the Spaces display, which will ideally help to improve discovery, and engagement with future chats based on the same (e.g. by following other speakers to tune in to future events).
Discovery remains a challenging element for Spaces, because while there are many Spaces broadcasts happening all the time, you won’t know about them, in the moment, unless you’re following the right people. That significantly restricts the reach of Spaces content, and subsequent engagement with the audio broadcasting tool.
Twitter had seemingly been looking to address this with the addition of a dedicated Spaces tab, which would provide quick links to in-progress audio chats, while also highlighting relevant Spaces based on your personal interests.
But with the launch of Communities this week, it appears that Twitter’s changed tack on this, with the Communities button now taking the place of where the Spaces tab would have gone in the updated format.
Which probably makes more sense. If Twitter can get more people signing on to follow topics that they’re interested in, it’ll then be able to highlight relevant Spaces on those subjects within that tab anyway, with Twitter also adding Topic Tags for Spaces last month to align with this process.
That would also be similar to how Facebook and Reddit are looking to showcase their audio rooms products, by displaying them within the groups and subreddits that people are already visiting, as opposed to hosting them in their own separate element.
In this sense, Facebook likely has the biggest advantage, because it’s able to highlight relevant audio rooms within groups that are already being used by 1.8 billion people each month. Through this, Facebook can know that users who are already highly engaged with each topic are being shown audio rooms that are relevant to them, while Clubhouse and Twitter are still working to sift through the many chats in-progress, and highlight the right ones for each user.
Indeed, many Clubhouse users have noted that it’s become far more difficult to find engaging rooms since the app has been opened up to all users, while as noted, Twitter currently has no Spaces discovery element at all, other than using search workarounds to find live broadcasts.
It seems, then, that Twitter has either found optimal Spaces discovery via algorithm matching difficult, or the match-up with Communities just aligned to the point where it made more sense to go with the Communities tab over the Spaces one instead. Or it’s still testing both.
I don’t know for sure (I’ve asked), but given the Communities preview is the most recent, and it does work to address the discovery problem, which will be key to maximizing Spaces adoption, it seems like that’s the way that things are headed – which, if Communities ends up working out, could be a far better way to go in this respect.
But again, that does put Twitter at a discovery disadvantage, especially if Facebook sees significant potential in audio rooms and looks to boost them in more ways. If Facebook wants to win out, and beat Twitter on the audio social front, I’d say it probably could – but then again, the public nature of Twitter may also provide advantages for audio broadcasters that are not as readily available for those with smaller audiences on Facebook.
Which could mean that both Twitter and Facebook end up gleaning similar results from their audio social tools on aggregate. Clubhouse, unfortunately, does seem to have fallen away, though it is still gaining traction in India, and could still find a viable path forward.
But through Communities, if that works, and the focus on topic-based discussion, Twitter Spaces could become the audio social leader – at least until Facebook decides what it wants to do with the format.
And eventually, you would assume, that these new Spaces cards will also include links to download Spaces audio for broadcasters who choose, which could become another element in Twitter’s creator monetization push.