Twitter wasted no time at all muscling in on Clubhouse’s live chat room turf by launching its own ‘Spaces’ feature, and now, it’s almost got the one thing the newcomer hasn’t — an in for Android users.
Launched as a beta in late December last year, Spaces was initially made available to a small and select group,
In a somewhat optimistic string of tweets from the Spaces account at the time, Twitter said the human voice “can bring a layer of connectivity to twitter through emotion, nuance and empathy often lost in text”.
the human voice can bring a layer of connectivity to twitter through emotion, nuance and empathy often lost in text. we see this with voice tweets & voice dms. sometimes 280 isn’t enough, and voice gives people another way to join the conversation.
— Spaces (@TwitterSpaces) December 17, 2020
It wasn’t clear exactly who was in this initial ‘experiment’ group, which was a testing site for things like reaction capabilities, live transcriptions, reporting and blocking, and sharing tweets.
However, it didn’t take long for comparisons with new-kid-in-the-social-circle Clubhouse to arise.
Having launched in April last year, invite-only audio chat app Clubhouse quickly gained momentum in the US. By the end of the year, the Aussie first movers were on board too.
Concerns have been raised about accessibility — there’s no capability for live captioning, to include people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and not much support for people with vision impairment either.
There are also qualms around privacy. And when someone like Elon Musk joins a conversation, followed by a thousands of adoring fans, it’s prone to a glitch or two.
But still, people like Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and even Kanye West are on board. This platform, with its old-school conference call vibes, have certainly struck a chord.
The one thing Clubhouse still doesn’t have is a way in for people with Android phones and that’s where Twitter is gearing up to take the lead.
On Wednesday, Spaces tweeted the news Android-using fans had been waiting for: they would now be able to join and talk in any Space.
They were also promised they would be able to start their own rooms “soon”.
Really??? Ugh. Can’t we keep this iphone exclusive please 😇
— adam stevens (@intelligent_eat) March 2, 2021
This isn’t the first time Twitter has taken inspiration from the success of a rival social media platform.
In November last year, the platform launched its Fleets capability for ‘disappearing tweets’, in a similar vein to Instagram’s stories, which themselves have a certain Snapchattiness about them.
Are you a Clubhouse convert; an Android user desperate to get in on the action; or a wholly uninterested bystander rolling your eyes at it all? Get in touch and let us know.