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There's a Lot to Like About TwitterSpaces

Anita Lettink
Anita Lettink
I have never met Phil. He’s never seen me. We met a few weeks ago in a TwitterSpace, followed each other and exchanged a few thoughts about how to host a session (we’re both beta-hosters).
One thing led to another and when I read his tweet, I decided to host a Space and invite Phil to talk about music and art. And yes, that’s him playing the saxophone!

🟣Phil Mershon #SMMW
Do you ever wonder why art and music are so important?

I'm a creative soul, but I can often get distracted by focusing on "productive" activities and forget to make music.

G.K. Chesterton said, “Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do.”
Once I opened the Space, we started talking and there was a lot to discover: What kind of music we listen to. How making your own music is an excellent way to relax mind and body, and helps you deal with stress. I learned that Phil couldn’t play due to some physical issues, but then one day decided to give it a try, picked up his sax and started playing again.
New Listeners joined us, requested to speak and shared how music made them feel. Strangers from all over the world, with different tastes and views. We had a lot to discuss, and the hour flew by. Phil picked up his sax and treated us to a live improvisation. It was absolutely stunning and the audio quality beyond amazing!
Afterwards I received an invite from Phil: would we do another session where he was the host? Of course! And so yesterday we did a follow up where we talked about books and writing.
Every speaker first answered the question: paper, ebook or audio, and then shared a book they were reading. Dan introduced his newly written book and I recommended a couple of books that I recently read.
And like the week before, Phil ended the session in style with a “Summertime” sax improv. Is it weird to admit that I’m already looking forward to the final minutes of our next Space?
What's the buzz about TwitterSpaces?
I accidentally stumbled upon TwitterSpaces because I saw the hashtag on my timeline and was curious to find out more. A few clicks later I was able to join a Space where the Twitter development team explained the latest features, and asked the testers for feedback. Crowdsourcing at its finest and I wanted in.
I did a bit of searching and found a sign up form. And surprisingly, the next day I discovered that the Twitter people had decided to grant me access and I was able to start a Space (yes, they work in mysterious ways and no, I don’t have connections).
Spaces is a means to have a conversation with your followers (and everyone else who decides to join). It only works on mobile phones. If someone you follow is a beta-host, you’ll see a purple circle around their profile pic in Fleets once they open a Space.
Most of my Spaces experiences have been excellent. Some were less enjoyable, mostly because it’s a bit of a gamble to invite users to speak, especially if you don’t know who they are. A few people were rude, some used foul language and had to be removed. As a host, you need to be on top of things and enforce the rules of your space.
Keeping people in the Space safe is an important topic and one that the developers spend time on. The whole point of audio is to give people a voice, but what happens when they use it to abuse others? Do you get a warning when someone you’ve blocked is in a Space? It’s a serious issue that needs a careful consideration and fortunately, the developers are constantly asking for feedback and ideas.
Still, there’s a lot to be done by the development folks of Twitter. I want to applaud them for what they are developing and how: for constantly sharing their concepts, asking for feedback and allowing us to be part of the build. I enjoy being a part of this!
A World of Opportunity for Spaces
I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of Spaces. Good moderation by the host is key. I’ve heard a lot of thoughtful, interesting opinions that made me think, and a variety of viewpoints from all over the world. It puts your world view in perspective, and to me, that’s a good thing.
I see a lot of opportunities to use a Space:
  1. At the moment, a lot of people talk about their TwitterSpaces experience. Which features work, what feedback to give to the developers etc.
  2. The best Spaces so far have been the ones that are focused on a topic, like the ones I described above: music, arts, travel. You can exchange views, hear tips and share ideas.
  3. It’s an opportunity for creators and thought leaders to get close to their followers. You can also use this alongside a TwitterChat, to let people listen to the hosts while responding to the questions in the chat.
  4. When you organize a conference or event, you could host a Space after the keynote so the audience can ask questions. It’s a bit more personal than the Q&A chats most conferences use.
  5. A live lecture or interview (like a podcast), where people can participate and ask questions.
  6. Founders and developers can crowdsource ideas and run weekly update sessions, like the Spaces team does.
  7. Brands can run a quick user session, explain their plans and solicit feedback. Just like Twitter is doing with building TwitterSpaces.
  8. Twitter plans to introduce a tip jar: Music artists can run paid sessions to let followers listen to music in progress or pre-share new releases. Authors can read new book chapters, and visual artists can talk about the concepts behind their creations. You get the picture.
As an independent, I am excited about the potential. When I think of combining Spaces with a Revue newsletter, and later with Communities and the ability to get paid, it’s a full stack that I can use to stay in touch with my audience. I can capitalize on the following I already have, and hopefully expand it.
If this goes as planned, creators can gain a lot of possibilities - even though I’m still debating if it’s wise to go all in on one platform. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
Please join the next session by Phil and me. Look on our timelines for the invite.
PS: Here’s a handy Guide if you’re new to Spaces. Updated weekly.
How to use TwitterSpaces: The Ultimate Guide | Revue
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Anita Lettink
Anita Lettink @let_anita

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