Twitter rolls out Spaces and plans pay-in audio chat rooms

·4-min read
Twitter will offer some users the opportunity to host pay-in, audio chatrooms called Ticketed Spaces.

Twitter has given you the floor. On Monday May 3, the social network officially launched its new feature Spaces. From now on, account holders with more than a minimum number of followers will be able to organize their own live-audio chat rooms. In the near future, a selection of users will also be given the opportunity to sell tickets for these "Spaces."

A year after it was first announced, the social network Twitter has finally made its new Spaces feature available to all of its users... or nearly. For the moment, only accounts with 600 or more followers will be allowed to join in Twitter's new audio venture. "Today, we're bringing the ability to host a Space to all accounts with 600 or more followers on Twitter. Based on what we've learned so far, these accounts are likely to have a good experience hosting live conversations because of their existing audience," the platform announced in a press release on Monday, May 3.

Beefed-up audience management

In addition to this far-reaching rollout, Twitter will also provide beefed-up audience management for the audio chatrooms. The platform recently announced that hosts will be able to mute the microphones of those present, and all at the same time if necessary. Hosts will also have the option of banning speakers, pinning tweets in the chatroom, and inviting people to join while it is in progress. In contrast, the number of actions available to listeners will be very limited. When present at audio discussions, they will be able to respond with emojis, ask to speak, consult pinned tweets, send tweets and private messages to promote the discussion, and follow what's being said with captions if these have been activated. Twitter has promised "improvements to live captions so they can be paused, customized, and are more accurate."

Twitter also points out that "anyone can report and block others in the Space, or report the Space," and to protect its users, the platform has created a warning system. Users will be alerted if someone they have blocked is already speaking in an audio chatroom they were about to join. Moreover, people hosts have blocked will automatically be prevented from joining their chatrooms.

Ticketed Spaces for content creators

Twitter has already announced that it intends to monetize content with its Super Follows scheme, and it is also planning on generating revenue from some of the new chatrooms, which will be "Ticketed Spaces." This latest cash-for-chat feature will enable content creators to benefit financially from their work on the platform. "Hosts put time and effort into creating space for conversation, connection and fun. Now, we're working on a way for hosts to be rewarded for the experiences they create by getting monetary support, while providing listeners with exclusive access to the conversations they care about most," explains Twitter. Only a select few users will be allowed to host ticketed spaces "in the coming months," points out the platform, which has not specified a date for a wider launch of this option.

With regard to pricing for these pay-in events, Twitter will allow creators to decide how much they want to charge and how many tickets they want to sell. The feature may well prove to be very lucrative for some of them, however, precise details on how income from Spaces is to be shared has not yet been disclosed. Twitter has said the “majority” of the revenue will go to the creators and that the platform will only take a small cut, but did not wish to give details of the exact percentage just yet. To continue discussion of this test phase, on Monday, Dantley Davis , the social network's chief design officer, launched a dedicated chatroom in which he and other members of the Spaces team answered questions from the platform's users.

Making it easier to find and join Spaces

To streamline the new experience for users, Twitter is also providing a scheduled alerts system for forthcoming Spaces. Users will also be able to directly join the audio chatrooms by clicking on a purple bubble around the host's profile picture, which will appear when they are hosting live events.

Sabrina Alili