Clubhouse? Twitter Spaces? How to use audio-chat platforms
There’s a new type of social network on the rise. And it’s based entirely on real-time conversations, on voices. People around the world are coming together to talk, listen, and learn from each other. Two platforms are currently leading the audio-chat race: Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. Clubhouse is big with celebrities. Float around the app and you might hear folks like Oprah, Drake, or Ashton Kutcher. That's part of Clubhouse's appeal — you can hear, and even participate in, unpolished conversations with famous and powerful people. Twitter Spaces is still in beta stages, but once fully unveiled it will be less exclusive, enabling anyone with a Twitter account to participate (or even host).
How do these platforms work?
Users can enter in and out of different chats, on different subjects, in something akin to a live, free-flowing podcast. You can simply listen or choose to participate by putting up your hand and sharing your thoughts. Another helpful analogy is that of a dinner party, or a clubhouse (hence the name).
Networking is the primary reason for Clubhouse's rising popularity. The platform is accessed through a mobile application available (currently) only to iPhone users. Users are able to create “clubs” if they have an idea for a recurring show, a community to start, or a private group. The emphasis is on “real time.” While conversations are not publicly saved for listening at a later point, users are finding ways to record and to share conversations. So, keep in mind that what happens on Clubhouse doesn’t necessarily stay on Clubhouse.
Twitter Spaces is still in a beta version. If you already have a Twitter account, you might begin to see live Spaces chats at the top of your mobile screen, where the fleets are also displayed. It's currently only available on the mobile edition. Twitter Spaces has emoji reactions for listeners, while listening you can hand wave, give a “100” or make a peace sign. Spaces are accessible while they are live; once ended, they are not available publicly on Twitter. Twitter retains copies of audio from Spaces and captions (if turned on) for 30 days after a Space ends in case there is a need to review them for violations of the Twitter Rules.
How to use it for yourself (or your event)
The first thing you’ll want to do is get either Clubhouse or Twitter on your iOS mobile device. Because Clubhouse is utilizing an invite-only model, you might need to ask around your immediate network to see if any friends or colleagues have extra invites (each new member is given a few invites to extend to other members).
Once you have one of the apps, ensure that you’ve completed your “bio” information. This is where you can tell everyone about your areas of interest and expertise. Your bio will help other users find you via searches and will determine the type of followers you attract.
Next, simply join a “Club” or a “Space” to listen. Your profile icon will pop up as an audience member, but there is no pressure to speak or to contribute. Search for your interests, such as “events” or “technology”, and see who is hosting conversations. Follow those people.
Finally, when you’re feeling ready, host a conversation. You can create your own chat rooms around your areas of expertise. This might start as a one-time experiment, but it could build toward a recurring event. (For instance, each Friday at noon you host a conversation on “event trends” or “business travel updates”.) The more consistent you are, the more followers you will attract. And if you really want to give value to your community, bring in a keynote speaker who is a specialist on a certain topic and ask them questions you think will help others — or better yet, let audience members jump in and pose questions themselves.
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