Twitter Beats Clubhouse to Android Audio Audiences
On March 2, Twitter opened up beta testing of its social audio platform Spaces for Android users – beating Clubhouse to Android's 72% mobile operating system market share (Statista, 2021).
The pandemic has catalysed the growth of smaller, more private spaces on social media, as users become increasingly overwhelmed by larger platforms. As we highlighted in Mobilising Online Microcultures, creating and managing these 'digital campfires' responsibly is a clear opportunity for brands, with 62% of Gen Y and Z globally believing that brands can serve communities based on common interests and passions (Spotify, 2019).
Twitter is betting its ambitions to double its revenue by 2023 on an aggressive push into more intimate and immediate social connections beyond public content feeds. At its 2021 Analyst Day investor event on February 25, the company announced plans of tying Spaces and other content formats into a wider creator engagement platform. These plans include the promise of more privately managed communities away from public feeds, as well as a tiered audience system called Super Follow. Like content monetisation platforms like Patreon and OnlyFans, Super Follow will let Twitter's leading voices (and those aspiring to be such) charge monthly subscriber fees for access to exclusive tweets and other rewards like newsletters (earlier this year, the company acquired newsletter service Revue), access to a community of like-minded fans, and badges to show creator support and affinity.
These recent moves into more private community groups could be a boon to consumers trying to reduce doomscrolling. With Instagram launching Live Rooms, which will let up to four people broadcast a live stream together, and Facebook reportedly working on a social audio feature of its own, expect a lot of movement in the intimate live social sphere this year.