After previewing the option in development last month, Twitter has now launched a live test of topic tags in Spaces, which will better enable the platform to highlight relevant Spaces chats to interested users as they happen, potentially broadening the reach of your audio broadcasts.
As you can see here, the new Spaces topic tags can be added in the set-up process, with Space creators able to add up to three topic tags to each session.
“When creating or scheduling a Space, some of you on Android can choose up to 3 Topics to tag it with from a list of our top 10 Topics. But it’s only 10 Topics for now and we’ll expand as we build together.”
So your options are fairly limited at present, with only 10 tags, in total, available, and only on Android. But still, the idea is that it will provide Twitter another way to maximize Spaces reach, by showcasing in-progress broadcasts to people based on the topics they engage with in the app.
The question then is where Twitter might look to showcase these Spaces, and how it will define reach.
Right now, Twitter will show you in-progress Spaces from people you follow at the top of the app, where Fleets once were – and maybe, with this addition, Twitter could also look to expand that to Spaces on Topics that you follow too, to keep people in the loop on relevant content.
Twitter could also look to highlight relevant, in-progress Spaces in its dedicated Spaces tab, which may or may not be coming to all users at some stage in future.
Either way, it’s an important element – because while Spaces can be an engaging, interesting option, right now, for most Spaces broadcasts, you don’t have any way of knowing when they’re happening, unless you’re following all the right people in the app.
In fairness, tuning into Spaces from people you follow is probably the biggest use case for the option. But if Twitter wants to maximize audio social usage, and boost engagement through Spaces broadcasts, it needs to also showcase each Space to the biggest potential audience – and as such, honing in on key interests is a key step, which will help to boost listenership, and subscriptions, based on Spaces content.
And really, if Twitter can’t get discovery right, people will lose interest in Spaces pretty quick. Clubhouse users are already lamenting the increasing array of rooms in the app, as a result of it opening up to all users, which has made it harder to find relevant, interesting discussions at any given time.
If people can’t find things to tune into, without significant effort, they’ll stop trying – and even with topic-based sorting added, there’ll still be a level of sorting through the chaff to get to the actual, quality broadcasts and broadcasters on each topic.
Ideally, Twitter would be able to rely on its algorithm sorting to highlight relevant Spaces in each users’ Explore feed, even without the need for topic tags, as it could ascertain likely topics based on each broadcasters’ profile. But based on the topic recommendations I see from Twitter, I don’t have much faith in that – which, again, puts more emphasis on manually entered topic tags as a means to maximize listenership.
It’s an important element, and while it’s only in limited form right now, you can expect to see Twitter develop this quickly as it looks to boost Spaces in the coming months.