Twitter looks set to make a new push on its Spaces live audio product, with an expansion of its Spaces tab, improving broadcast discovery in the app, and the launch of a new ‘Spark’ support initiative to help support creative audio talent.
As explained by Twitter
“The Twitter Spaces Spark Program is a three-month accelerator initiative that’s designed to discover and reward great Spaces on Twitter with financial, technical, and marketing support. We’re looking for emerging Creators who are passionate about the live social audio format and interested in creating recurring programming on Spaces.”
Which is very much like Clubhouse’s Creator Accelerator program, while TikTok has also implemented its own Creator Fund, as has Pinterest, Snapchat, etc.
In other words, all of the major platforms are now looking to provide more support and assistance for creators, in order to build their content eco-systems, and keep their best talent aligned to their apps. Twitter has also launched a range of creator monetization initiatives for the same purpose, with this new program focusing on audio creators specifically, as it looks to get all that it can out of Spaces and audio broadcasts.
Though Twitter must have forgotten that Facebook’s AR development platform is also called ‘Spark’, which also has its own funding initiative. Or it didn’t care. Probably the latter.
Twitter’s Spark program will provide the chosen participants with $2500 per month, along with ad credits and custom Spaces swag. They’ll also be able to connect with the Spaces dev team, and get early access to new features, while Twitter may also promote their broadcasts via its brand handles.
There’ll also be opportunities for ‘prioritized in-app discoverability for well-performing Spaces’. Which likely means that Twitter will look to showcase these broadcasts at the top of the Spaces tab, which could help creators build their audience, and get more value out of their efforts.
Interestingly, Twitter also notes, within the program overview, that it’s particularly interested in applicants that ‘have an established show in social audio on other platforms’.
I mean, that makes sense, but it’s interesting to see Twitter looking to poach top talent from other platforms (*cough* Clubhouse) as part of its expansion plan.
It’s still too early to say whether live audio broadcasts will become a more significant element of the Twitter experience, or whether they were a passing fad, fueled by the sudden rise of Clubhouse, but likely to follow a similar trajectory as video live-streaming, in becoming less engaging, and interesting, over time.
Of course, live-streaming is still somewhat popular, and still has specific use-cases, so that wouldn’t be the worst outcome for audio streaming. But after massive hype, video streams became less and less engaging, which has seen most of the dedicated streaming apps, including Twitter’s own Periscope, shut down due to lack of interest.
Can Spaces become a more significant element than Periscope within the Twitter ecosystem, and facilitate new opportunities for growth, in various ways, for the app?
It does seem, now, that Spaces has superseded Clubhouse as the leading audio social app, while Facebook also continues to develop its audio broadcast tools, as it looks to stay in touch with the trend.
Which app will eventually win out, and glean the biggest benefits from audio social? Again, you’d have to say that Twitter is currently in pole position – but whether enough Twitter users will remain interested, over the long-term, we won’t know for some time yet.
To be eligible for Phase 1 of the Twitter Spaces Spark program, you need to be US-based, and have over 5,000 followers in the app. You also need to commit to hosting a minimum of two Spaces per week – more info here.