Sounds like social audio had its moment, right? That it was a pandemic-induced trend, that it’s still valuable to some degree, but unlikely to become the transformative, connective tool that many envisioned when Clubhouse was at a $4 billion valuation.
Clubhouse is now struggling to maintain growth, Facebook has all but abandoned its social audio initiatives and other apps, though they keep trying, they really don’t seem to be gaining much traction with their copycat features.
Which leads to Twitter Spaces.
Of all the social audio additions, Spaces seemed to gain the most traction, and with Twitter’s established network to hold on to, it also seemed the most likely to be successful in the long run.
But it hasn’t yet become a huge element of the Twitter experience.
Can? It definitely seems like Twitter still has faith as it continues to experiment with new Spaces options and tools, while Spaces also gets its own tab in the app’s bottom feature bar, highlighting the potential Twitter sees in improving the user. . experience.
And the next stage could be coming: According to new screenshots, Twitter is inching closer to launching a revamped version of the Spaces tab that will separate audio streams, both live and recorded, into topics, in what looks like a podcast screen.
as you can see in this extended layout exampleposted by app researcher Alexander PaluzziTwitter’s new topic-based approach to Spaces will make it easier to find content in key discussions of interest, including dedicated screens of the latest broadcasts on ‘News’, ‘Sports’, ‘Music’ and more.
Twitter has been working on the new format for some time, with its initial theme design spotted in testing in June, which also, at the time, featured popular podcasts in the feed.
That, along with the addition of recorded slots, seemed to suggest that Twitter was looking to incorporate podcast discovery into its audio tools, expanding its listings beyond slot content.
That could make Twitter a more essential audio companion, while providing more ability for Spaces hosts to turn their streams into potentially monetizable, downloadable shows, while the more dedicated topic approach would improve content discoverability. of Spaces, which has been a key problem that prevents Occupation of spaces.
Because, most of the time, most of the current spaces are not relevant. Tap the Spaces tab and you’ll see a bunch of Web3 and NFT chats. But if you don’t like those themes, there’s usually not much variety at any given time.
Spaces’ accessible and categorized recordings solve this, while the addition of other popular podcasts could also see more people turning to the app when looking for audio content, although it’s notable that this latest example doesn’t show existing podcasts in the app. way as the original test.
That may be why Twitter recently asked TechCrunch not to share these first images, as it’s still working on the format. Perhaps Twitter couldn’t secure the license to include external podcasts on the new screen, but either way, it still seems like an improvement that will at least give Spaces the best chance of success.
And still could. Time Magazine, for example, airs regularly through Spaces throughout the summer, which could result in Spaces becoming a continuous content pipeline.
That might get more people listening, but the main issue with Spaces remains the same as it was before with streaming live video.
When you open a streaming tool for everyone, you will get a lot of bad content. That’s inevitable: if more people get the chance to stream, they will, and only a finite number of creators have the real talent and skill required to create consistent, engaging content, with a wide audience.
As such, you need filters, you need tools to be able to bring out the best, to showcase the cream of the crop, to deliver the best experience, which will then keep people coming back.
Currently, Twitter’s Spaces tab doesn’t do that, but perhaps, with more targeted curation and the addition of potentially external recordings and podcasts, that could still happen and could make Spaces more valuable.