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  • MaryGrace Lerin

Twitter Tests New Options to Restrict Spaces Access to Smaller Groups

Twitter is currently testing new settings that will allow Spaces hosts to limit who can join their audio talks, allowing for more private in-app chat sessions.

Two new Spaces audience choices are being tested by Twitter, as seen in this example provided by user Chloe Korzh (and shared by Matt Navarra), which would allow Spaces hosts to restrict access to either only those people they directly invite, or only 'tweeps' - basically your followers only.

That could open up new possibilities for Spaces, such as the ability to use the feature for more private talks between friends or to help foster community by hosting more private conversations among your audience.

This might also have a particular value for brands, with the ability of hosting exclusive audio chat sessions for super fans or providing new updates to followers only. If done correctly, this may become a growth strategy, with the FOMO element encouraging more people to follow your brand account in order to be invited to the next exclusive Spaces session highlighting the newest product details and/or deals.

Despite being launched more than a year ago, Spaces is still in its early stages of growth. Even though Twitter has made significant progress with the option since its early testing, which was incited by the sudden surge in interest in Clubhouse, the dedicated Spaces tab, for instance, is still not available to all users, indicating that the option still has ways to go in terms of maximizing its potential and truly evaluating as to if it can become a more vital element in the overall tweet process.

Right now, part of the issue is discovery, and making sure that all users are informed of in-progress Spaces of interest as they occur. While Spaces can now be recorded, the best Spaces engagement happens in real time. As a result, Twitter's algorithms need to both learn the themes of interest to each user and be able to show relevant Spaces instantly, anytime you're in the app, in order to fully optimize the option.

That's difficult because, with everyone allowed to broadcast in the app, there are a lot of irrelevant Spaces going on at any given time. So, while the topic may be relevant to a user's interests, if the quality of the Space is poor, getting them to tune in may actually turn them off the choice, restricting future take-up and growth.

As a result, showing users when individuals they follow are watching a broadcast is the only practical way to emphasize the most relevant Spaces. This is what Twitter does, but it doesn't address the issue of wider topic discovery and participation.

It's a delicate balancing act, but perhaps more intimate, restricted Spaces groups could serve to boost Space relevance while also encouraging new use cases and choices.

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