Twitter’s looking to get more people tuning into Spaces chats by highlighting the best conversations as they happen within the Explore tab, which could result in a big boost in exposure for some chats.
we want to make it as easy as possible to find and join the best, most relevant Spaces every time you open Twitter. if the convo around a Space is taking off, you’ll now start seeing the Spaces card in the Explore/Trending tab on iOS!
— Spaces (@TwitterSpaces) October 27, 2021
That’s a significant upgrade in exposure potential, because right now, there’s no way to easily find in-progress Spaces, and unless you follow a host or speaker in a chat, you’ll never even know that it’s happening.
Twitter’s looking to improve this with its dedicated Spaces tab, which will showcase popular discussions in real time, while it also recently added Spaces topics to assist in matching the most relevant broadcasts to each user.
But discovery, as Clubhouse has also found, is a difficult element, and while it’s one thing to facilitate many audio chats, all happening at the same time, it’s another to draw audiences to them, and boost engagement based on the discussions occurring.
As with video live-streaming, highlighting relevant broadcasts can be challenging, because they’re evolving in real time, which can make it difficult to match for relevance. Assigning topics is one element, though that won’t help if the hosts drift off on tangents, while algorithmic matching, based on the people you follow and the topics that you’ve engaged with in the past, is another consideration.
But it’s not easy – which is why Facebook’s more restricted approach to the format, with audio rooms only available to selected influencers, Pages and groups, could actually be a better way to ensure that the most relevant chats are highlighted to the most likely audience as they occur.
Twitter’s still working on the best approach, but this new update could be particularly beneficial in that it will guarantee major exposure to popular chats, with Twitter’s 211 million active users dwarfing Clubhouse, and potentially facilitating much broader exposure than Facebook’s audio options as they currently stand.
If a broadcaster suddenly gets a few thousand people tuning into his or her chat, that will be a big motivator to keep broadcasting, and investing more time into Spaces as a medium. If Twitter highlights a few chats a day like this, focusing on smaller broadcasters that are starting to gain momentum, that could be a big winner for its audio social option, luring more talent into its ranks and keeping better quality content flowing through the system.
You’d imagine that the threshold for this amplification would have to be high, but even so, it could be a big winner in Twitter’s broader effort to make Spaces a key element of the app.
Though, as an aside, it does still confuse me that Twitter shares things like this:
Like, this is your platform, you can create simple tools that enable this type of filtering, without users having to know the expanded search operands to find things. If you want people to use this functionality, build a more effective search process, rather than acknowledging hacks and workarounds to counter your own system limitations.
In fairness, Twitter is working on all of these things, and this is just a quick way to search for Spaces now. But still, the fact that it’s promoting such shows that it still has a way to go in maximizing Spaces discovery.
Can it effectively maximize its approach to such to make Spaces a more important element? The potential is there, and small tweaks like this are a step in the right direction.