When it comes to social voice chat rooms, which is better?
Twitter Spaces is still very much in beta. During my session, there were a few bugs (some Listeners who joined couldn't hear audio).
However, my gut feel is that Twitter Spaces has a good chance of disrupting Clubhouse.
Even though it's still early, and the feature isn't broadly available (outside a small test group), Twitter's Spaces already has some unique attributes
You'll see any live Spaces chats at the top of your screen, where your fleets are. It's currently only available on your mobile app.
This accessibility is going to make Spaces way more discoverable than Clubhouse events (many Clubhouse users already promote their events primarily on Twitter).
Twitter also has the advantage of already having your social graph. Once the feature is fully distributed, anytime anyone you follow starts a Space, you'll be able to join as a listener or speaker.
"Compared to chatting on Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces feels like talking with a small room of friends"
– Chris Cantino
On Clubhouse, there's currently no way for a passive listener (who is muted) to give feedback to the speakers. One hack that users have developed is they rapidly mute and unmute their mics (to indicate applause).
Twitter Spaces already has emoji reactions for listeners. While listening you can 👋, give a 💯, or a ✌️.
Oddly, there are no 👏 or 🤣 reactions yet (both of which I wanted to use).
However, you can see the future potential for this feature:
Musicians could see listeners 👏 in real-time while they play.
A comedian doing a virtual set would see 🤣 emojis anytime a joke lands.
Another interesting feature: you can share a tweet into a Twitter Space. It will appear at the top of the chat, allowing all participants to view it (and discuss it) in the room.
Twitter Spaces already has some accessibility in the app. You can enable live transcriptions, which will write out what people are saying (in real-time).
Clubhouse profiles currently can only link to your Twitter or Instagram profile.
However, on Spaces, being able to click on someone's profile and follow them is seamless (without having to leave the app).
I've been on Clubhouse for two months now. It has many good attributes, but I think it has some pretty big challenges as well.
Many of the Clubhouse rooms I've been in feel like a giant networking event more than an "audio experience."
Because it doesn't have much of my social graph, I mostly follow strangers.
There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but Clubhouse rooms often feel like you're at a mixer. There's a constant cycle of folks getting on stage and introducing themselves.
Most times, when I opened the Clubhouse app, I wasn't able to find a good discussion to participate in.
As Tom Webster mentions:
Right now there is a lot of hustle porn and MAKE your MONEY MOVE$ action happening. Scroll through the rooms that aggregate at the top: “Millionaire Moves,” “Bitcoin is the way!” “GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH A MASTER.”
My guess is that (when paired with my social graph) the impromptu, live nature of Twitter Spaces will be a better experience.
Overall, the audio quality on Twitter Spaces seems better than Clubhouse.
However, overall, audio quality on both platforms suffers from folks mostly using their earbuds and Airpods as a microphone.
Audio also cuts out as people go on elevators, drive into a zone with no service, or lose their wifi connection.
(Also: there's currently a bug on Twitter Spaces, where only Speakers can hear the audio. Folks who join as "listeners," ironically, could not hear the discussion)
If you are personally on Twitter (as a host), or have a popular Twitter account, Spaces is going to be a natural extension of your podcast.
You can also copy and paste the link to your Twitter Spaces event, which could make it easier for podcasters to do live events. (You could conceivably create a link that always forwards to your current Twitter Space session).
You can follow Justin on Twitter: @mijustin