X is looking to add video to live Spaces chats, with a new feature that will enable Spaces participants to switch on video, if they choose, during a live audio broadcast.
X owner Elon Musk provided an overview of the coming update during a Spaces chat over the weekend, explaining that:
“We’re working on adding video to Spaces so that it’ll just be a simple thing where you can turn the video on or off. And then the person who is speaking, the video will switch to them, like a group call or something like that.”
The option sounds similar to Zoom or Google Meet, with the speaker’s video screen highlighted, providing an additional element to Spaces chats.
Spaces, which was originally launched amid the live audio boom, enables group chats at scale, and Musk himself has been able to draw massive crowds to his Spaces chats with various celebrities and people of note. Overall, however, Spaces remains a lesser element, with discoverability still problematic, and most people largely over the audio social experience.
Video would add another element to this, but you can also conduct similar already, through the aforementioned group meetings apps, or via Instagram Live, or group video calls in Messenger or WhatsApp.
Maybe, having similar will add value to Twitter Spaces, though it is also worth noting that Facebook removed live-stream guests back in 2019 due to lack of usage. Facebook re-added the feature in 2020, amid the COVID pandemic, but essentially, it hasn’t been a game-changing option in the app, and hasn’t drawn high usage.
It also requires a lot of system compute, in broadcasting multiple live video feeds to potentially millions of viewers. On balance, I’m not sure it will add a significant amount of value for that cost, but it could help X to make live Spaces more of a thing, and drive more usage of the option.
Which could also make a consideration in your strategy. Maybe, by having video calls on X, that could be more of an enticement to connect with your audience there, via more interactive group chat sessions.
It could be another consideration.
Musk says that he hopes to have the feature released “before the end of the year, but certainly by early next year”.