Twitter Launches Full Attack On Clubhouse Social Audio App With Twitter Spaces

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Written by Ann Brown
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Twitter Launches Full Attack On Clubhouse Social Audio App With Twitter Spaces Images: company logos

Twitter isn’t taking the rise of the Clubhouse social app sitting down. The social media giant is now beta testing a live audio chat-room platform called Spaces. 

Spaces allows users share audio clips in tweets and direct messages and they can also create their own rooms for others to join, CNet reported.

Users will have control over who can speak in their spaces. It’s “a small experiment focused on the intimacy of the human voice,” Twitter said.

Twitter first announced Spaces in November, saying it had tested audio chat rooms with small groups of people who are more likely to be impacted by online harassment, including women and those from marginalized backgrounds.

“It is a personal matter for me to get this right,” said Maya Gold Patterson, a product designer at Twitter, while speaking about her own experiences as a Black woman who’s faced online abuse. “The team is interested and the company is interested in hearing first from this group of people on their feedback about audio spaces.”

Twitter has a right to be worried about the invite-only Clubhouse app — the social media app that many are talking about but few are asked to join. The new app is coming in strong and its founders are trying to lure in Black users with a feeling of exclusivity. It’s even hooked Oprah.

Other famous people have tried Clubhouse such as Van Jones, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock and Mark Cuban.

“Audio adds an additional layer of connection to the public conversation. Musicians and authors have used it to bring their works to life, while other people used audio to tell stories, share emotion, and be their true, funny selves,” Twitter said. “We also know that people want to feel comfortable and in control when having conversations on Twitter.”

Clubhouse was created by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth and bankrolled by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

With Clubhouse, users can participate in different chat rooms on an array of topics. The conversations are audio-only, and when they are over, they disappear forever.

The app is still niche, but users can enter into different rooms to listen or participate in a conversation. They can see who else is there.

Just like at a real social event, users can enter the main room with many other people, and then break into smaller groups for side conversations, Oprah Magazine reported.

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Clubhouse is pulling in high investment. According to a May article in Forbes, the company already had a $100 million valuation despite not even having a full website.

But because the conversations are private and disappear, some things have been said in the Clubhouse chat rooms that have sparked backlash.

There was a conversation in late September called “Anti-Semitism and Black Culture,” which several attendees said invoked negative Jewish stereotypes, Bloomberg reported. The moderator of the conversation, Ashoka Finley, later apologized on Twitter.

People seem eager to try Spaces. “I’d love to try. Tired of the algorithms putting me in a box (and drama) on Clubhouse. Need more diversity of conversation,” one tweeted.