This could be a big addition for those leaning into the audio social trend.
Today, in amongst an overview of the various recent feature updates that it's added to its Spaces option, Twitter included this note:
???? Audio recordings ????— Twitter Media (@TwitterMedia) June 16, 2021
Recordings of Spaces (hosted in the past 30 days) are now available for Hosts. The feature can be found in the ‘data’ folder of your Data download.
Yes, you can now download your Spaces audio - though the process itself is not exactly ideal just yet.
As Twitter notes, in order to access the audio, which Twitter keeps on file for 30 days for potential moderation purposes, users will need to download their personal data files, which Twitter will provide for you, on request, via the 'Your Account' section in your profile settings.
From the 'Download and archive of your data' section, you can tap on 'Request Archive' to get a zip file of all the data that Twitter has on you, which will include your Spaces audio.
As you can see here, once you've requested your archive, it can take up to 24 hours to come through, but you'll eventually be able to find your Spaces audio in the 'Data' folder within the zip.
Twitter's been working on audio download options for the past few months, and will likely, eventually, improve this process, so that you don't have to download all of your Twitter info in order to access the audio file. That could provide more utility, and value for Spaces, with people then able to re-purpose that audio content to expand their audience reach, and boost connection with those who may not have been able to tune in live.
Of course, there are also potential complexities within such recordings, in ensuring consent for re-use from all speakers. Twitter's also looking into these concerns, and it'll likely, at some stage, add in a consent option of some kind for such purpose, as part of the Spaces usage agreement. Though it's not in there just yet, so where that leaves you on re-use exactly is not entirely clear, but the onus, at least in part, is on the Spaces host to ensure that all speakers are okay with any re-use, particularly for commercial purposes.
As noted, the announcement was part of a longer tweet chain outlining recent updates for Spaces, including Space scheduling, the development of the new Spaces tab in the app (which is still in testing), the capacity to tune in via desktop PCs, and new options on how pinned and shared tweets are displayed within a Space.
There's also this:
#️⃣ Clickable hashtags + mentions #️⃣— Twitter Media (@TwitterMedia) June 16, 2021
Add your brand or campaign hashtag to the title of your Space to widen the reach of your conversation. Hosting a panel or a Q&A? Anyone you “@” in your title will also be clickable.
That's another small, but significant update for the option, which will provide another way to help maximize Spaces reach, and boost awareness of your broadcasts.
While Clubhouse started the audio social trend, as of right now, it does seem like Twitter is leading the way, with the reach and engagement potential of Spaces much higher than Clubhouse rooms, and the functionality also improving, including discoverability, which is growing challenge for Clubhouse as it continues to expand.
Clubhouse is, however, gaining traction in India, which could become a bigger focus for the platform moving forward, particularly given Twitter's more recent clashes with Indian regulators over content posted within the app, which could lead to further complications for the platform in the region.
Of course, Clubhouse could also fall foul of Indian regulators at some stage, with the real-time nature of audio rooms making them difficult to moderate effectively. But right now, it's building momentum, which seems to provide a more viable pathway to ongoing growth for the app amid rising challengers in the market.
But then again, Facebook could just blow them all out of the water with the eventual launch of its audio social tools, which took another step closer via a live test by Facebook execs earlier this week.
With massive reach, and likely, highly focused, relevant audio rooms within Facebook groups, which are used by 1.8 billion people, Facebook could be better placed to address the discovery issue, and as it also looks to boost its presence in India, it may look to further expand the capacity to WhatsApp, the most used messaging app in the region, which could quickly supersede Clubhouse as the key audio social platform of choice.
Either way, right now, Twitter Spaces is the leader, and as all of these tools continue to evolve, that provides more options for your own broadcasts, and new ways to engage and interact with your online communities.