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Revolutionizing Live Chats: X’s Spaces Unveils New Live Video Capability

ByHuey Yee Ong

Feb 29, 2024

Revolutionizing Live Chats: X’s Spaces Unveils New Live Video Capability

X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Spaces, originally an audio-only live chat feature, has now embraced video, allowing hosts to enrich their chat sessions with live video feeds. This advancement was announced on a recent Wednesday, with Elon Musk, the owner and CTO of X, amplifying the news by sharing a user-generated tutorial from “Dogedesigner,” highlighting the platform’s commitment to continuous innovation and user engagement.

Introducing Live Video to Spaces

Spaces, since its inception, has served as a digital arena where voices from around the globe converge in real-time discussions. With the introduction of live video, the feature is set to transform, offering a more immersive and interactive experience.

Key Functionalities of Video Integration in Spaces:

  • Option to Enable Video: Hosts can now enrich their chat sessions with live video feeds.
  • Camera Flexibility: Use of either the phone’s front or back-facing cameras.
  • Orientation Choice: Selection between landscape or portrait video orientations.

This rollout, however, has its initial limitations, being available exclusively on the iOS version of the X app. The extension to Android and web versions is eagerly anticipated by the platform’s wide user base. Early adopters of the video feature have reported experiencing some degree of lag, indicating areas for potential improvement as X navigates the integration of complex video broadcasting capabilities into its existing infrastructure.

Distinguishing Spaces Video from Periscope

The introduction of video to Spaces might draw parallels to Periscope, X’s erstwhile live-streaming service known for its interactive broadcast features. However, X distinguishes its new offering with a focused approach. Unlike Periscope, which facilitated live participation by guests in broadcasts, the live broadcast feature on X, pre-dating this update, was designed for unilateral video streaming to a user’s profile and followers. In contrast, the video feature in Spaces initially grants exclusive video access to hosts. This design choice places the host’s video feed at the center of attention, surrounded by listener icons, crafting an environment that, while reminiscent of platforms like Twitch, uniquely enables spontaneous audience participation.

Elon Musk’s vision for incorporating video into Spaces was initially hinted to resemble more closely the functionalities of video conferencing apps, such as FaceTime, where the focus dynamically shifts to the current speaker. The current implementation, however, centers around the host’s video feed, creating a digital stage where the host, flanked by icons of speakers, co-hosts, and listeners, becomes the focal point of the session. This configuration not only prioritizes the host’s visual presence but also invites a structured yet flexible interaction dynamic, distinguishing it from the more passive audience engagement typical of X’s live broadcast feature.

The Future Implications of Video in Spaces

Spaces with video thus represents a dual-purpose evolution of the platform’s live interaction capabilities. On one hand, it maintains the essence of Spaces as a communal dialogue hub where multiple voices can share the floor. On the other, it introduces a visual dimension that elevates the host’s role and potentially enriches the quality of discourse through non-verbal cues and visual content, setting a new standard for live digital communication.

Despite the initial technical challenges, such as the reported lag, the broader implications of this update are vast. By merging visual and auditory elements, X not only broadens the scope of creative expression available to its users but also aligns with broader digital trends emphasizing multimedia engagement. This move could potentially attract a wider audience, including those who prefer visual content over audio, thereby expanding the platform’s reach and impact

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Featured Image courtesy of Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.