Twitter is testing new options to restrict access to smaller groups

Private Twitter spaces are coming, and Twitter is testing new options that would allow Spaces hosts to limit who can join their audio discussions, allowing more private chat sessions in the app.

As you can see in this example, posted by the user Chloe Korzh (and shares them Matt Navarra), Twitter is currently testing two new audience options for Spaces that would allow Spaces hosts to restrict access either to only those people they specifically invite or only to ‘tweeps’ – aka just your followers.

This could provide new usage considerations for Spaces, with the capacity to use the option for more intimate conversations among friends, or to help build community by holding more private discussions among your audience.

It could also have special value for brands, with the option to host exclusive audio chat sessions for super fans, or to provide followers with only new updates. If used well, this could become a growth tactic, with the FOMO factor helping more people track your brand account, to ensure they too are invited to the next exclusive Spaces session featuring the latest product details and / or or offers.

Spaces is still in a relatively early stage of growth, although it was launched more than a year ago. Twitter has significantly improved this option since its early testing, which has caused a sharp rise in interest in the Clubhouse – but even so, the dedicated Spaces card, for example, is still not available to all users, meaning the option still has some way to it goes into maximizing its capabilities and truly testing whether it can become a more essential element in the wider tweet process.

Part of the problem, at the moment, is to detect and ensure that all users are aware of the space of interest in progress as it happens. Although Spaces can now be filmed, the best Spaces engagement comes in real time, and as such, to fully maximize the option, Twitter’s algorithms must understand topics of interest to each user and be able to instantly highlight relevant spaces, whenever you’re in applications.

This is not easy, because with everyone who can broadcast in the application, many insignificant Spaces happen at any moment. So while the topic might suit the interests of users, if the quality of the space is not good, forcing them to adapt would actually exclude them further, limiting future downloads and growth.

As such, the only real way to highlight the most relevant spaces is to show users when the people you follow are attending the show. What Twitter does, however, doesn’t necessarily address the issue of expanded topic disclosure and engagement.

It’s a difficult balance, but perhaps, with more intimate, enclosed spaces, groups that could help improve the relevance of space while, as noted, facilitate new uses and options.

We asked Twitter for more information about the test and we will update this post if / when we receive an answer.

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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