Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is announcing that he will be running for president at 6 p.m. on Wednesday on Twitter Spaces, a live audio streaming platform on Twitter where people gather and talk online in real time. Times reporters will be providing analysis throughout the announcement, which you can listen to at 6 p.m. with a Twitter account.
Twitter launched Spaces in May 2021, becoming one of the first social media platforms to create a dedicated audio streaming feature. The idea was simple: to give people a way to converse and listen in rooms focused on specific topics.
Spaces was Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse, a livestream social app that grew rapidly in the pandemic after its March 2020 launch and that showed the power of audio platforms. While Twitter once had a video livestreaming service called Periscope, the wide availability of other video streaming tools led the company to shut it down in 2021 and focus on its audio offering.
Any Twitter user can join a Space, which have hosts who set up the audio chat room and choose the topic to be discussed. Hosts moderate their own Spaces and can pick people to speak or call on those in the audience to ask questions or provide comments. Some Spaces have had tens of thousands of listeners, though most only garner an audience of dozens.
Twitter has never released numbers on Spaces’ popularity. Elon Musk, who bought Twitter for $44 billion last year, has been a user and fan of the feature. He has often appeared on Spaces to talk about his various businesses and to conduct interviews with journalists, including two recently from the BBC and CNBC.
Twitter is still working out Spaces’ kinks. The feature can be buggy and sometimes kick out users or crash. In December, it stopped working after tens of thousands of users joined an audio chat room to listen to Mr. Musk discuss why Twitter had banned several journalists from the social network.