Last month, Twitter announced it would soon begin testing a new social feature on its platforms involving audio-only chat rooms, similar to controversial startup Clubhouse.
Twitter Spaces, as the feature is now being called, has officially been launched into privacy beta testing. During the testing phase, the feature will be limited to select individuals, largely from marginalized backgrounds, according to Twitter.
Twitter starts testing ‘Spaces’, its Clubhouse-like voice chat service
Spaces will allows users to share audio clips in tweets and direct messages. Users will also be able to create their own rooms for others to join, and they’ll have control over who can speak in those rooms. It’s “a small experiment focused on the intimacy of the human voice,” Twitter said on Thursday.
“Audio adds an additional layer of connection to the public conversation. Musicians and authors have used it to bring their works to life, while other people used audio to tell stories, share emotion, and be their true, funny selves,” the micro-blogging platform said. “We also know that people want to feel comfortable and in control when having conversations on Twitter.”
Twitter says the feature is being tested by “a very small feedback group.” Those with access to the feature can create a Space by pressing and holding the Compose button in the lower right corner, or through the Fleet creation screen by swiping right. Users can also invite people to their space by sending them a direct message or by sharing a link.
In addition to the launch of Spaces, the social media giant said it’s also developing other features for testing, including reactions similar to hand gestures, live transcriptions, reporting and blocking, and the ability to share tweets in Spaces.
Twitter first announced Spaces last month when it launched Fleets, a capability similar to Snapchat and Instagram stories. At the time, the micro-blogging platform said it had tested audio chat rooms with small groups of people who are more likely to be affected by online bullying, including women and individuals from marginalized backgrounds.