Twitter has long been trying to find ways to grow beyond its core nature of broadcasting short snippets of text. It bought Vine long before short looping videos became a fad and Periscope when live streaming was just beginning to gain traction. Both are now dead (Periscope shuts down in March) but Twitter has again branched of with Instagram Stories-like Fleets and audio chat Spaces, the latter of which might just get a bit of boost with Twitter’s latest acquisition.
To be honest, the connection between Twitter’s acquisition of Breaker and its plans for Spaces isn’t exactly direct. Breaker, which has been around for four years but only launched version 1.0 of its mobile apps, is pretty much a podcast player with some options for hosting the podcast on the startup’s servers. Its main appeal to its users, however, is its social elements, allowing users to like, comment, and communicate with each other and publishers.
The latter might be the common ground that Breaker and Twitter Spaces have, leading to the deal. Co-founder Leah Culver is pretty much the one that actually reveals she will be joining Twitter to work on Spaces and “the future of audio conversations”.
Announced near the end of 2020, Spaces is practically a Twitter-flavored audio chatroom. Comparisons with other social media apps, specifically Clubhouse, were expected but it seems Twitter is serious about growing the feature, despite the controversial announcement. Spaces is still in limited user testing.
Breaker users won’t have to wait for years or even months before watching their favorite podcast service shut down. Breaker’s announcement already comes with the sad news that it will be shutting down immediately on January 15 (Not anymore! See the update below). Users are advised to move to one of the myriad podcast apps available on Android and iOS while publishers are also given recommendations where to host their podcasts moving forward.
UPDATE: Great news for Breaker users and fans! The podcasting service will no longer be shutting down and the apps won’t be disappearing either. Instead, these will now be handled by Maple Media, the company that also owns and operates Player FM. This means that for Breaker users, it will be business as usual past January 15 while the company migrates over to Twitter to bring their expertise to the fledgling Spaces.