Alarmed at the growing popularity of invite-only, audio-chat app Clubhouse, several tech giants have begun to develop its rival and now, Twitter has finally started testing ‘Spaces’ on Android.
The Twitter Spaces tool is currently available on iOS Beta with a host of iOS-exclusive features such as voice tweets, which are yet to arrive on Android devices.
According to a report in XDA Developers, some Android users have started to reveal that the Spaces feature is working for them after installing a specific beta version of the Twitter app.
Since a rollout for Android is yet to be announced, the feature is “pretty rough around the edges” at the moment.
Currently, the feature is available as an early preview for a select few Android users who are part of the app’s beta program.
In the feature, users can create a ‘Space’ that their followers can join to participate in a conversation.
Anyone on Twitter can listen in on the conversation, though only the host can control who gets to speak.
“The human voice can bring a layer of connectivity to Twitter through emotion, nuance and empathy often lost in text,” the official account of Twitter Spaces said recently.
“We see this with voice Tweets and voice DMs. Sometimes 280 characters are not enough, and the voice gives people another way to join the conversation”.
In addition to the launch of Spaces, Twitter said it’s developing other features for testing, including reactions similar to hand gestures, live transcriptions, reporting and blocking, and the ability to share Tweets in Spaces.
Twitter is planning to add automated captions to audio and video on the platform this year, a feature that would help people with disabilities access the service in a much meaningful way. It’s, however, unclear when transcriptions might be available in voice tweets.
Meanwhile, Clubhouse is currently available on Apple App Store and has been downloaded more than 8 million times. The company is working on an Android version.
Facebook is also working on building its own social audio app like Clubhouse.
According to a report in The New York Times, the social network has asked employees to create a similar product like Clubhouse. The product is “in its earliest stages of development” and the “project’s code name could change”.