If you had to pick one platform which let you put your real unfiltered self out there, Twitter would be your answer. Now evolving, where could we be if the platform offered more opportunities with the human voice at the center of it? Sreeram Viswanath explores the concept of Twitter Spaces, a recently unveiled feature with empowering capabilities
The human voice is dynamic, influential, and powerful. Twitter agrees with this, as evidenced by its latest foray into the audio-social segment, ‘Spaces’. In Twitter’s own words, Spaces is a place for ‘open, authentic, and unfiltered discussions, a place for any and every topic and conversation, from small and intimate numbers to millions of listeners’. So let’s tune into what this platform offers and gain a glimpse into why businesses should take notice.
WHAT DOES IT OFFER?
Spaces takes Twitter’s interaction quotient to the next level, with a plethora of features and possibilities. Let’s first understand what Spaces offers:
Live Audio: While initially stipulated that only users with 600 or more followers can start a live conversation, since October 2021, any Twitter user with an app on Android or iPhone can start a Space any time, from anywhere. This allows them to reach their fans on a personal level or promote their latest releases such as books, movies, podcasts, or products with more reach.
The listener pool is unrestricted to Twitter, for anyone on the internet can join in as a listener to a Space through a shared invitation or link. The platform allows up to 13 speakers to speak at a point in time, and anyone could speak by making a request.
Scheduling it: You can schedule this audio event by opening up Spaces, tapping ‘schedule for later’, and choosing the preferred date and time. A Space can be scheduled 14 days in advance, with the option of creating an impromptu Space in the meantime. Restrictions apply though, as users can only have one upcoming Space scheduled. The host would receive push and in-app notifications as a reminder to start the Space in time. Those following them can opt to get reminded when a scheduled Space begins.
Feel Free to Tweet: Despite it being a live audio space, Spaces is enhanced by Twitter’s primary offering, tweets. Users can give a descriptive name and share relevant tweets directly within the Space. In addition, anyone who speaks in a Space may tweet about it.
Captions: Captions are automated; participants will be automatically served with the same by default. Listeners can choose not to view captions by tapping the ‘show captions’ option. This is great for when a connection is choppy or for the hearing-impaired.
No Record is Lost: Twitter seems to value voice by adding a touch of permanence to it. You can record your conversation, which would be immediately and publicly available. The conversation can be deleted any time you wish. (Now imagine if Roman general and timeless orator Marc Anthony could do this!). On a statutory note, Twitter will retain your audio for 30-120 days to check for any violations of the Twitter rules.
PEEL THE LAYERS OF STORYTELLING
Podcasts have emerged as a mainstream content form, consumed with avid interest and flourishing competently. Thanks to this being the age of infotainment, where presenting information and novelty creatively can get you big bucks.
By giving precedence to the human voice and thus presenting unfiltered thoughts and fairly uncensored opinions, Twitter Spaces is shaping up to be a Podcasters haven, as well as for those who use them as a tremendous promotional or additional content tool. But why is this medium poised to work so well?
A SPACE TO PROMOTE
Spaces can be a part of a robust business promotion strategy. Here’s a platform where you can provide weekly updates or audio-form newsletters (a great disruption to a classic) or keep fans interested (and keep them coming in numbers) for some great dialogues and discussions that they’d hesitate to miss out on.
Imagine the scenario for a fledgling publication. An audio discussion of that well-researched article or even debatable, opinionated content a day or two after it is published could pull in readers in droves. The Athletic, a leading sports publication, is a leading example of this strategy. Fans obviously read a piece of content because it intrigues them. Making a discussion about such an interesting subject would only increase your value proposition.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO CROSS-PROMOTE
Twitter, like most social media platforms, makes cross-promotion an easy affair. Have you noticed how relevant accounts can be easily identified when an account you follow re-tweets from such accounts? When a company diversifies its message across more social channels, it can reach more potential customers, prospects, and influencers.
Similarly, when you add anyone as a speaker, your Space becomes visible to their followers at the top of their home timeline. This means that you have an audience waiting to march in, engage, and follow an audio stream of their interest. A well set-up, consistent, and segregated Space could do wonders to add to your digital persona and your forte.
Spaces isn’t just an exposure platform for you to garner an audience. The arena of Ticketed Spaces now allows you to convert it into an income stream. This is an avenue that encourages willing audiences to pay for your broadcast, for the value you provide in hosting, speaking, and moderating the public conversation. With Ticketed Spaces, creators can host workshops, conversations, or meet-and-greets with their most loyal fans. Most personalities on Twitter have spent years cultivating value with their content creations. Now, they can earn money while also interfacing with their most ardent crowd.
Given its impact, the avenue to earn as well as the need for accountability, Ticketed Spaces requires users to have a follower-base of 1000 or more. Users also should have hosted at least three spaces within the last 30 days of a scheduled Ticketed Event. Ticketed Spaces are currently only meant for creators across the United States. Twitter is making all efforts to make this a more global affair.
TIME TO HIT THE STRATEGIC LANE
In this age of intense media scrutiny, companies must align their social media strategies to the ethos of the 21st-century business. Twitter Spaces is another platform that indicates how businesses are opting for avenues that offer a human, personalized touch combined with a reach of millions.
As is the case with every other innovation, Spaces could really go on to be just the edge that businesses thrive upon because it offers a novel way to not only bring in audiences but retain them with zest. If you or your business already enjoys a certain degree of popularity on Twitter or just social media in general, the sky is the limit for how you can utilize this new addition to propel your endeavors forward. While it can be argued that the platform is just in its infancy and remains to be tested, the case for a profound social media strategy can never be brushed under the carpet.