Twitter opens up its Clubhouse rival Spaces for more users

Social media in 2021 is set to be dominated by audio chat, after not only Twitter but also Facebook and Reddit announced they were expanding into this new area. — dpa

Twitter's new Clubhouse rival for live audio chat rooms is being opened up to more users after an initial test phase, and now anyone with 600 or more followers can host their own chat room.

Social media in 2021 is set to be dominated by audio chat, after not only Twitter but also Facebook and Reddit announced they were expanding into this new area first made popular by the invitation-only Clubhouse app.

In the next few weeks, Twitter's chat areas called Spaces will appear on Twitter apps on iPhones and Androids for all users, according to the company.

So how does the whole thing work? As soon as someone starts a discussion on a "Space", all of his or her followers will see this at the top of their timeline with a purple circled profile picture of the host.

Anyone who joins a Space as a listener can react to the discussion with emojis, view all pinned tweets and the subtitles, tweet at the Space or send direct messages.

The host can also grant or withdraw permission for someone to speak, and only a limited number of people can speak at any one time. More controls and security options can be found on Twitter's help page.

After months of hype surrounding Clubhouse, Facebook announced in April it was testing audio chat rooms in Groups and aiming to roll them out to all app users by mid-2021. Almost at the same time, Reddit also announced a similar service called Reddit Talk.

What is Clubhouse?

The invite-only audio chat app Clubhouse has made waves in recent months with a platform that allows users to listen to or join conversations in audio chat "rooms".

Only a few people are allowed to speak at any one time and conversations are typically linked to a specific subject. The app quickly gained popularity in recent months, particularly after several celebrities began talking about it.

Despite being limited to only iOS users with invitations from others on the platform, the app has become one of most hyped in 2021, and is said to count Silicon Valley heavyweights like Mark Zuckerberg and celebrities like Drake and Oprah among its users.

In February, celebrity entrepreneur Elon Musk even invited Russian President Vladimir Putin for a chat on the app.

The app brands itself as "a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations — with friends and other interesting people around the world." Making the app even more exclusive, there's no Android version of Clubhouse yet, but one is said to be in the works. – dpa

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