Twitter has taken another steady leap forward in the evolving audio social sphere by adding Spaces access via the web, meaning that you can now tune into Twitter Spaces from your desktop PC.
It's not perfect as yet. I tried to tune into a couple of Spaces and got as far as this screen, which remained stagnant for as long as I waited.
But early teething problems aside, the ability to access Spaces on the web is a significant advance, as it not only opens up the option to even more users, but it also enables hosts and speakers to use their PC microphones and audio set-ups, which will lend itself to more professional sounding, higher quality Spaces streams.
As you can see in the image above, when you go to join a Space on your PC, you'll first get a preview of the Space, similar to the mobile set-up, which shows you a selection of the people both speaking and in attendance. If you choose to join, the Space window will then reduce into the right-hand side of the Twitter presentation screen, which will enable you to keep scrolling through your timeline as you listen in.
As you can see here, captions, if you have them turned on, will also appear below the Spaces window, so you can follow along with the text as well, while there'll also be a speaker panel below the main screen to highlight who's voice you're hearing.
It's a good, valuable addition, which will further enhance Twitter's audio option, while it will also add even more pressure to Clubhouse, which has only just finished its Android app roll out to all regions.
And Clubhouse is still working on an invite-only basis to better manage system load, while Twitter Spaces is now available to everyone with over 600 followers in the app, across mobile and web. That expanded access is now a big lure for anyone considering their audio social options, and while Clubhouse still has a level of exclusivity, and cool factor among early adopters, history would suggest that, eventually, the platform with the biggest reach will likely win out, in a competitive sense.
That doesn't mean that Clubhouse can't co-exist with Spaces, and Facebook's upcoming audio social tools (among others), but it may need to re-focus onto a specific usage niche, in order to avoid comparison, and competition, with larger platforms that it simply has no chance matching up against.
For Twitter, though, it should be thanking Clubhouse for introducing the audio social trend, which it's now reaping the benefits of through increased platform usage and engagement. It'll be interesting to see what impact that has on Twitter usage overall in its upcoming Q2 report, while Twitter now also needs to turn its attention to Spaces discovery, in order to maximize usage and interest.
Spaces for desktop is being rolled out from today in all regions.