As we await the arrival of Twitter’s dedicated Spaces tab, which will increase the presence of the audio meeting room option within the app, Twitter continues to roll out new tweaks and updates to the format to help improve its audio engagement experience.

Today, Twitter has added a new raised hand emoji feature, available to Spaces speakers, hosts and co-hosts, which enables speakers to signal that they have something to add to the discussion, without interrupting the chat.

Spaces raised hand

As you can see in the second image, speakers can now switch on the ‘raised hand’, which will appear at the top right of their profile bubble in the Space. Unlike other reaction emojis, the raised hand will not disappear, and will remain present until either the user chooses to switch it off, or they unmute, ready to speak.

It’s a handy, functional addition to the Spaces process, and while it’s not a huge change, each update adds a little more refinement, and makes it a more inclusive, engaging experience.

In addition to this, Twitter also says that its new voice-changing effects options are now available to 50% of iOS users.

Twitter first announced its Voice Transformer tools for Spaces last month, and the test pool is gradually be expanded over time. The idea is that by providing more options to control how you sound, it could make people feel more comfortable engaging within Spaces, while also providing another fun, engaging option to play within in the tool.

Is audio social a real trend, or a fad driven by the enhanced need for social connection amid the COVID lockdowns around the world?

It does feel a lot like live-streaming, which many lauded as a potential ‘game-changer’ for social media usage, but which faded out pretty quickly once everybody could use it and people realized that most live-streams simply weren’t very high quality.

Audio social has the markers of heading in that same direction, with a lot of early Clubhouse users now ignoring the app as its exclusivity fades and good rooms become harder to find.

That doesn’t mean audio social will disappear completely – plenty of people still live-stream, and generate good results, and new use cases are always arising. But the idea that it will be a more significant element seems less likely over time, even as Twitter looks to double down on Spaces with its own dedicated elements.

We’ll have to wait and see, but either way, there may be opportunities to enhance engagement within your online communities.  

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