Twitter is developing an updated version of its audio chat rooms product known as Spaces, TechCrunch has learned and Twitter has confirmed. The company said it was currently working on a new experience for the Twitter Spaces tab in its app, but declined to discuss details of that change. However, screenshots from one of the earlier versions of this test include what appear to be themed audio stations as well as a custom audio summary.
The test shows a revamped appearance for Spaces that organizes audio rooms into topics, like music or sports, for example. These are represented by colored cards and pictures of the programs. (Curiously, the images appear to depict traditional podcasts in some cases.) There’s also a feature called “Your Daily Digest” which includes a selection of programs that can be played with a click. The tab also shows you who’s listening, just like it does now.
The company said an official announcement would be later after the concepts are finalized, but did not offer a timeline.
Twitter also pointed out that these images – which come from competitive intelligence firm Watchful – are inaccurate and outdated. We are told that they represent only a “first version” of the new experiment in progress. (The company asked us to pause posting for this reason, but we declined. TechCrunch often covers new products in their early stages – and it’s interesting to see what direction Twitter might take with Spaces in the future, even though the final product is remarkably different when launched. We think our readers agree.)
Based on our best guesses, the updated version of Spaces seems to build on Spaces support for subjects, launched last year. This allowed creators to tag their audio programs with up to three topics from a general list. This spring, Twitter also let users learn more about spaces when they tapped into the Space tab by placing a spacebar at the top of the screen which displayed who was hosting, topics and other information. Now he could experiment with using subjects to better group different spaces.
Either way, it’s clear that the company is thinking about how to better present areas of interest to listeners – and one way to do that could be through a better organizational system and interface improvements. user.
Today, the Spaces tab makes it hard to find because it has a few suggestions at the top, followed by the spaces of people you follow, then other live spaces that are currently happening, and below that, a selection of spaces tendency. The programs themselves often now have long, unwieldy titles, as creators stuff keywords, hashtags, and Twitter handles into the name of the show. At any given time, the selection of popular and active spaces is overtaken by those focused on investing and crypto, as web3 users are highly engaged on Twitter. It also complicates discovery as you have to scroll a bit to find the shows outside of that genre.
Also, the current layout only makes sense for regular Spaces users. When more casual users have time to spare, they may want to locate spaces based on what’s being discussed, rather than their connections to hosts on the social network or what’s “hot” right now. Having a summary could also make the product more appealing to those who want to follow Spaces but don’t have the time to constantly log in.
We’ll update if Twitter chooses to share more about product changes.