Greg Morris

Designer, Pretend Photographer, Dad

Twitter Spaces

The app's first words to me about Spaces were “What the #$@!% is that” and I entirely agree. I hate that little icon that plagues my Twitter app screen. I think it’s supposed to be a microphone, but I vaguely remember it being something different. The powers that be at Twitter have decided to leave it with me with no option of removing it, but my opinions are changing.

Last night, myself and Jeff Perry decided to set up a Twitter space and have a chat about tech. There’s no messing about, no need for microphones, or a recording set up at all. All you require is a phone and away you go, and there is something really freeing about that.

Of course, if you’ve been into voice first social media, this is all old news. Services like Club House have been providing spaces for people to chat for a couple of years already. Proving that there is a desire for people to use their voice rather than type out words and also help remove some of the nuance that 280 characters often provides.

The ease of use and the tools that Twitter Spaces provides has proven to me the usefulness of the service with just one try. Closed captions, visual indication of listers, sharing links you discuss into the chat – all of these features that are only obvious once you use it, make it a well-rounded feature after all. I do still wish they wouldn’t keep ramming it down our throats.

Like they did with Fleets, the not long for this world disappearing version of tweets, Twitter uses its app to leverage adoption of new features. Often annoying users to the point they give up, or switch to a third-party app to avoid the nonsense. The icon is one thing, but I have found a big blue bubble attached to the top of my home screen more times than I care to mention, simply because someone I follow is listening to a live Space. With no option to hide it I have listened in to some of them, but never really have the time to stay for long.

I would guess most people won’t either. Twitter is small tweets while you’re doing something, and unless it is something I really want to take in live, I rarely have the time to stop and listen if I catch one ad-hoc. Which makes Twitter Spaces a confusing proposition. All the shenanigans put me off initially, I can see the value in the service with ease of use, but ultimately am not convinced Twitter is the place for it.

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