After steadily expanding access over the course of the year, Twitter announced today its audio chatroom feature known as Twitter Spaces is now open to anyone who wants to host a Space across iOS and Android. Earlier this year, the company had limited access to hosting Spaces to accounts with at least 600 followers, saying that it found these accounts would be more likely to have a good experience because they had an existing audience.
Now, Twitter says the option will be offered to all its mobile users on the Twitter app. Users are able to start their first Space by tapping on the Compose button — the button they would otherwise use to post a tweet, according to the graphic shared alongside today’s announcement.
At present, tapping this button switches you to the screen where you would write and post your tweet. But now it seems the button will fan out an array of options, including those to compose a tweet, post a GIF, or start a Space. This is a minor but possibly impactful design choice, as much of Twitter’s commentary is posted spontaneously by dashing off a quick tweet. By making tweeting a two-step process, it could lead to some reduction in the number of posts if people take that split second to pause and reconsider their actions.
Twitter was earlier experimenting with giving Spaces its own tab in the app, but that has not broadly rolled out and isn’t shown in the current image shared with the announcement. In fact, Twitter users who are in the beta test for another new feature called Communities will instead see the Communities button in the center of their app’s navigation row.
Twitter has been rapidly iterating on Spaces since its launch into beta last year. More recently, it added the ability for Spaces hosts to add up to two co-hosts and up to 10 speakers, allowing for larger events with more moderators. It also shut down its Stories feature called Fleets this summer, which made Spaces the only product that appears in the top row of the Twitter mobile app.
Since announcing Spaces, a number of major platforms have launched their own audio networking products following the breakout social networking hit app Clubhouse, which became a popular pastime during the height of the pandemic. Now Spaces and Clubhouse compete with Facebook’s Live Audio Rooms, Spotify Greenroom, Discord, Reddit, Public.com and others.