Last week and the week before, we set Tony McGovern the task of exploring Twitter Spaces and Messenger Rooms (from Facebook). These are two competing social media platforms which allow users to create group chats.

Tony did a great job here and continues to compare and contrast the two social media platforms to help you make informed decisions should you use them.

Access
Messenger Rooms

A Facebook account is not needed to access Messenger Rooms. Attendees just need a link to join. Messenger Rooms can also be used via Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and portal devices. 

Twitter Spaces

Twitter Spaces are only available via Twitter. If you’re not using Twitter, you cannot join the Space using links.

Both Twitter Spaces and Messenger Rooms are available on Android and iOS (Apple). And both are relatively new features to their own social media. These are still being rolled out as services to be available to everyone.  

Privacy  
Messenger Rooms

Whilst in Rooms, audio and video are not recorded. This may make reporting of incidents harder however it does provide extra privacy.  

Twitter Spaces

In Twitter Spaces, audio is recorded and the recording is kept for 30 days. If no incident has been reported in that time, the recording is deleted.

Incidents reported within 30 days results in the recording being kept an extra 90 days whilst the incident is investigated. The Host of the Space can download a copy of the recording whilst it is held by Twitter. Once Twitter deletes recordings, copies can no longer be downloaded by the Host. 

Going Live 

Messenger Rooms

Up to 50 people can join a Room. Attendees can access the room via video calling or using just audio. Everyone can speak when and as they wish.

If you are feeling adventurous on camera, the Room has features allowing more fun such as backgrounds and filters. Rooms can be accessed via a link or on the Facebook news feed. 

Twitter Spaces

Up to 10 speakers can join a Twitter Space. The Space can hold an unlimited amount of listeners. It is possible to have large audiences listening in. This is an audio only service.  

Uses
Personal / social

Regardless of Spaces or Rooms, these spaces can just be used as a social gathering place whilst we exercise social distancing but do consider other uses for these digital spaces, such as: 

  • Friend & family calls
  • Virtual parties
  • Quiz nights 
Education

Teachers and students may get together to study and whilst it’s not currently possible (or advisable) to meet with multiple people in person, Spaces and Rooms give students opportunity to:

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Learning communities
  • Conference talks
  • Networking
Work

Whilst work colleagues probably have their own formal digital meeting places, Spaces and Rooms could be an optional extra:

  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Project groups 
  • Conferences / networking
  • Influencing / marketing
  • Selling products   

The uses described here would suit either platform but Rooms as an added extra: collaboration for work via screen-sharing. This allows children to draw and colour in with remote family members. Students can co-create work for presentations, etc.

Conclusion 

Both Messenger Rooms and Twitter Spaces are timely when several lockdowns have necessitated people stay distanced. These services are facilitating much needed communication channels on existing social media platforms.  

Messenger Rooms does provide video and audio calling. This makes the world smaller as you can see and hear the person or people in the Room. It might be yourself and one other individual in a call or up to a maximum of 50 people (a virtual party).

It offers additional privacy for Rooms by not moderating them. Messenger is a good choice for smaller, more personal and/or private (non-recorded) meetings with several options to access the Room for non-account holders.

Twitter Spaces caters for larger gatherings listening in. An unlimited number of listeners can be extremely useful. Whilst speakers are limited to 10, this can be helpful when keeping order of proceedings. Spaces are temporary recorded which may improve speakers etiquette. Recordings are a quick and easy way to provide meeting minutes or a copy of the talk being given, thus turning a talk into an easy resource. 

Whichever space you decide to use and why is your choice.


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