As of today we’re removing the option to invite guests when you go live, so we can improve your video broadcast quality. ????
Your viewers can still interact with you through chat and hearts. https://t.co/bymoq55VIy
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 5, 2021
As you can see from the original tweet in this chain, Twitter launched the functionality in March last year, helping to cater to the rising interest in live-stream connection. Though even at launch, Twitter’s audio guests option was already well behind the functionality available on other apps.
At the time, Zoom was taking off as a live meeting platform, enabling multiple video participants at one time, while Instagram and Facebook both also provide streaming broadcasts with video guests (though it is worth noting that Facebook retired this option in late 2019, before bringing it back due to the pandemic).
That meant that people already had plenty of options for live broadcast connection, with full video functionality, and as such, maybe Twitter’s audio guests option just didn’t catch on, and wasn’t catering to demand, which is why Twitter’s removing it.
I mean, I’m assuming usage has been relatively low, otherwise Twitter would keep it – but as Twitter notes, the main reason for the removal of its live guests option is that it will better enable Twitter to improve its video playback quality, which has been a focus of late.
Interestingly, Facebook has just today announced a new option for gaming streamers to co-stream with friends, underlining demand for this type of interaction – so clearly, there is an interest in video connection. Just not video connection with audio, or at least, not enough to outweigh the server demands which would facilitate better video quality.
Again, it’s probably not a major loss, and if you want to have audio guests, you now have Twitter Spaces to fill that gap. And you can still stream, on Twitter or elsewhere, and cater to all the different usage options, you just can’t have audio invitees tapping into your Twitter streams.
It might mean a shift in focus or planning, but the impacts are likely minimal.
Twitter says that the update will go into effect from today.