Twitter announced Monday that it will be expanding “Spaces,” its feature that allows users to connect over audio and hold discussions similar to the popular Clubhouse app.
Twitter announced in a blog post that all accounts that have 600 followers or more will be able to host audio conversations.
“Based on what we’ve learned so far, these accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting live conversations because of their existing audience. Before bringing the ability to create a Space to everyone, we’re focused on learning more, making it easier to discover Spaces, and helping people enjoy them with a great audience,” the post said.
The company explained how the process will work, saying that those who use Twitter on iOS and Android will see a purple bubble at the top of their timeline when someone they follow “starts or speaks in a Space” as long as the conversation is live. “When you join a Space as a listener, you can react to what you hear with emojis, check out any pinned Tweets, follow along with captions, Tweet or DM the Space, or request to speak,” the company said.
Twitter added that it is also creating a ticketed option where hosts “can set ticket prices and how many are available to sell. A limited group will be able to host Ticketed Spaces in the coming months. Hosts earn the majority of the revenue from ticket sales and Twitter will keep a small amount as well.”
There are also safety features built into the conversational experience, which allow hosts to mute people and remove attendees entirely. The company added, “Anyone can report and block others in the Space, or report the Space. Also, people you’ve blocked can’t join a Space you’re hosting, and you’ll see labels and warnings if someone you’ve blocked is speaking in a Space you join.”
The Clubhouse app is a social networking platform where users can join if they are invited by an existing user. It is an audio-only platform where people can hold conversations with other users.
Clubhouse’s description on the app store states, “Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations—with friends and other interesting people around the world. Go online anytime to chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about.”
Platforms like Clubhouse have become popular among users who fear they might be censored by large technology companies.
Conservatives have pushed back against members of the media who have spoken against the use of Clubhouse because it allows people to hold conversations without being monitored. In mid-February, The New York Times tweeted an article discussing Clubhouse, writing, “Unfettered conversations are taking place on Clubhouse, an invitation-only app that lets people gather in audio chatrooms. The platform has exploded in popularity, despite grappling with concerns over harassment, misinformation and privacy.”
Later, the Times seemed to see a potentially different side to the social networking platform, writing a story about how the “Clubhouse App Creates Space for Open Talk in Middle East” and allows people to talk freely.
“If you can’t have any kind of political representation or anything, you can have an app where you can sit and talk or at least listen,” said Eman al-Hussein, a Saudi analyst and self-described Clubhouse addict, according to the outlet. “That’s why it’s become so important. I see some names sitting there from morning until evening.”
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