Twitter Launches Initial Test of Audio Chats Within Communities

Twitter wants to further improve engagement of smaller communities in the app by launching a new test that will allow community admins to do so create dedicated Audio Spaces within their groups.

As you can see in this example, some community admins on Twitter can now start audio chats that are only visible within the group.

As explained by Twitter:

This experiment gives a group of admins and moderators in the United States access to create live spaces within their Twitter communities. Audio in Communities adds an extra layer of personality and connectivity beyond 280 characters; By initiating live audio conversations specific to a community and topic, community admins can better lead their communities, engage their members, and engage in quality conversations with others who share the same interests.”

When a space is started within a community you’re a member of, it’s highlighted in the space bar at the top of your home timeline, giving all group members a chance to listen. Users visiting a community will do so also be able to see and join a space started in that group, but only members of the host community can reply and contribute to the space.

Twitter communities chats

It’s somewhat similar to Reddit’s Reddit Talks audio chat option, which hosts audio chats on Reddit communities and Facebook Community Audio Channels. Facebook, of course, has largely abandoned its broader social audio push sparked by the sudden rise of Clubhouse, and overall enthusiasm for audio engagement options has waned, though there may still be niche use cases for chat tools like this gives .

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In particular, the advantage of this approach is improved detection. You’ll join groups focused on topics that interest you, which means the audio chats you’ll then ideally see on the app will be more tailored to your interests too.

As it stands, Twitter is still struggling to highlight the most relevant live audio chats for each user in their Audio tab because, firstly, you can’t know what people will be talking about in a space while it’s live, and for another, Twitter’s algorithms aren’t that good at presenting content based on your interests.

Twitter has tried to solve this by adding topic tags in Spaces and more recently topic streams in the Audio tab, allowing users to have more direct impact on their experience.

Chats in Spaces will provide another way to better filter this and highlight the most relevant chats for each user – and if it increases, it could become a strong interaction element in the app.

But that also depends on whether people actually use Twitter Spaces and/or Communities. Twitter hasn’t provided usage information on either for a while, and in general it doesn’t seem like there’s much engagement in either.

But perhaps this is another way to increase community engagement, which could help unlock the potential of both options going forward.

And for brands, it could also provide another way to build more targeted engagement in the app through your own branded communities. For example, you could host exclusive interviews for your top fans or provide previews in audio rooms.

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It might actually be a valuable addition, and it might be worth experimenting with the option to see how people react.