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What is Twitter Spaces? [+Why Marketers Should Care]

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What is Twitter Spaces? [+Why Marketers Should Care]

Following months of beta testing, Twitter made its new audio feature, Twitter Spaces, permanent.

Today, the highly-discussed feature is finally available to all users.

Spaces, which allows Twitter users to listen to and participate in public audio conversations, entered its beta test shortly after the launch and $100-million valuation of the app Clubhouse – which similarly offers an audio chat room experience.

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Now that it’s here to stay, many brands with solid Twitter followings are also beginning to pay more attention to the marketing opportunities of Spaces.

Why Marketers Are Watching Twitter Spaces

Looking for a way to determine whether Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse is a better fit for your business? Check out our video guide comparing the pros and cons of the two social audio spaces below.

1. Twitter has major audience reach.

Twitter has well over 200 million daily active users. That user base includes audiences that fit into many different demographics all over the world. Because of this, brands can reach target audiences from all sorts of industries and backgrounds.

While Clubhouse’s user base quickly grew, it doesn’t offer comparable reach to Twitter due to its somewhat exclusive nature.

The audio social app was initially designed to be invite-only and started with a small user list of “elite” industry thought leaders, celebrities, and influencers. Only recently did every-day users start to get invited and expand its app to Android users.

2. Twitter Spaces could provide a shorter learning curve.

Learning how to use and experiment with a completely new social media app – like Clubhouse – can be time-consuming. Not only do you need to learn how to navigate it, but you also have to study its top users, brands, and trends to learn how to reach audiences there.

With learning curves in mind, marketers who are experienced Twitter users might turn to Spaces over Clubhouse simply because they already have a following on Twitter and only need to learn how to use one additional feature, rather than an entirely new platform.

3. Twitter Spaces could be more inviting to brands.

While Clubhouse’s live audio platform has pulled in users looking for authentic interpersonal conversation rather than brand information, Twitter’s audience is accustomed to seeing content from brands, such as ads, marketing videos, and promotional Fleets.

Because brand promotion feels more natural and common to Twitter users, these audiences might be more likely to accept or engage with brand-owned Space.

4. Twitter Spaces is visually interactive.

Twitter spaces emojis

Twitter offers a number of features to make Spaces more visually appealing.

For example, Spaces listeners can use emojis to react to speaker comments. They can also share the Space while it’s live or recorded version to their newsfeed – allowing others to keep up with them.

“[The reaction feature]’s great because I see it as the perfect balance of being accessible for introverts and extroverts. If you’re not comfortable speaking, use an emoji,” said Krystal Wu, former HubSpot social media community manager, and Spaces beta tester.

5. Spaces provides a more casual environment than other streaming platforms.

Because of Spaces’ casual nature, marketers and audiences might not have to feel as intimidated when speaking in or launching Spaces, which could lead to engaging conversations between brands and their followers.

“The pressure is off when joining a Space. In all the discussions I’ve been part of, people are much more laid back no matter how casual or important the topic is that’s being discussed,” Wu explained. “I enjoy this because it removes the feeling of being ‘on,’ like most of us have been on Zoom during this pandemic.”

To learn how to use this feature and others within Spaces, keep reading for a quick how-to guide.

How to Use Twitter Spaces

How to Make a Space on Twitter

1. Start from the homepage or the Spaces tab.

There are two ways to start a Space:

  • From the homepage – Click on the + icon to start a post then tap the purple Spaces icon.
  • From the Spaces tab – Click on the purple Spaces icon on the bottom right of this tab to start a space.

how to make a space on twitter

From there, you’ll have to:

  • Give your event a title, ideally related to the topic you’ll be discussing.
  • Add up to 3 related topics to help relevant users find your event.
  • Decide if you’ll record the Space.
  • Start it immediately or schedule a date and time up to 30 days out.

Then, you can share your event with others in your feed to invite them to join.

2. Start your Space event.

As a host, you’ll be tasked with a few things:

  • Designating speakers and/or moderators
  • Accepting participation requests
  • Sharing relevant Tweets during the conversation.

Read more about Twitter Spaces etiquette here.

3. Look for speaker requests.

When you first start a Space, the default setting will be to limit speakers to the ones you designate. However, you can change it to people you follow or anyone who joins.

Note that you can only designate up to 10 speakers at a time and have one co-host.

When someone requests to speak, you’ll get a notification and can choose to give them speaking privileges or ignore the request. If you unmute the listener, be sure to introduce them to the audience.

4. Remove or change speakers.

If you have more than 10 guests that would like to speak, you can tap one of your current speakers to remove their privileges.

This will allow you to minimize the potential speakers or add more speakers. This can be especially helpful if you’re holding a longer chat and want multiple listeners to contribute to the discussion.

inviting someone to speak on Twitter spaces

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Additionally, if the conversation goes awry or someone says something unexpected, Twitter allows Space creators to report or block speakers if they say or do something inappropriate.

This can help moderators create a safe and respectful environment for all listeners and participants.

5. End the Space.

A Twitter Space can only be ended by the person who launched it. To end a Space you created, all you have to do is tap the End icon.

Your Twitter Space description box explaining the goal of your audio room

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6, Download your Space’s data.

According to Twitter, the social media platform retains data about the Space including recordings and transcriptions for up to 30 days after the event for review in case of policy violations.

twitter spaces

Image Source

Space creators can only access and download that data within 30 days of hosting, while speakers can download audio transcriptions. Spaces are ephemeral to non-speakers and conversations will disappear from the app as soon as they end.

How to Join Spaces on Twitter

7. Attend a Space.

When someone you follow is in a Space, you’ll see a purple circle around their profile picture on your timeline. A Twitter Space can also appear as a banner on the top of your feed.

When you tap on it, you’ll be given more details about who is in the Space and see a “Start listening” button. If the Space creator allows anyone who joins to speak, you’ll be asked if you want to enter the Space.

8. Attempt to speak.

Every Space you join is different. Some will allow any user to speak while others require attendees to request the ability to speak in the Space.

Lower navigation buttons of the twitter space

You’ll know by looking at your microphone icon. It’ll either say “Request” or “Speak.”

Once you’ve submitted your request, the host will be notified and will either approve or deny it. Once it’s your turn to speak, you’ll be notified.

9. Share the Space.

From the bottom navigation of each Space, you can tap the icon showing two people to invite specific followers to join, or the share button to Tweet a link to the Space you’re in.

Share and invite friend icons of the Twitter space

10. React to the conversation.

If you want to respond to something a speaker says in a Space, but don’t want to speak, you can tap the heart-shaped icon in the Space’s lower navigation to see a list of emojis that you can tap to show a visual reaction.

Reaction emojis that appear on Twitter spaces when you want to react to something and tap an emoji icon.

Image Source

11. Share Tweet-based conversation starters.

Wu says one of her favorite things about Spaces is that attendees can share public tweets directly in a Space.

“Any [speaker] in the Space can share a tweet, which will appear at the top of the Space,” Wu explains. “We can use it as reference points while chatting so that people can be more interactive in the discussions.”

Below is a look at Twitter’s own “Space’s” space. During the chat, which enables Twitter users to give feedback on the Space feature, a speaker shared a tweet from someone about how Spaces prioritizes attendees in its visual format.

A twitter space where a tweet is shared and discussed

To share tweets in a space, Wu says you just need to minimize the space you’re in, find a public tweet, tap the Share button, and tap the Spaces option. From there, the tweet will appear at the top of your space until the space host removes it or another tweet is shared.

12. Leave or minimize a Space.

Not interested in a discussion you’re listening to? All you need to do to exit is tap the “Leave” button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

If you’d like to go back to your Twitter feed, but want to keep listening to the Space conversation, you can tap the down arrow in the upper-left corner to shrink it into a small player that allows you to see tweets without leaving the Space.

Navigating Audio Social Media

If you’re a community-centric marketer, Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse could be worth experimenting and a great way to reach your audience on a more conversational level.

While you’ll certainly want to consider testing out Twitter Spaces, you should also continue to

Ultimately, if you decide audio social media is right for your brand, you’ll want to look at each platform’s pros, cons, and audience to determine which fits your target best.

To learn more about Clubhouse, which started the audio social media phenomenon, check out this post on the app’s growth. You can also check out this detailed how-to guide to see how Clubhouse’s features compare to Twitter Spaces.

More interested in growing your overall Twitter following and strategy? Click below to download a helpful free resource.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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MARKETING

The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them

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The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them

Ad fraud is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest data indicates that it will cost businesses a colossal €120 billion by 2023. But even more worrying is that fraudsters’ tactics are becoming so sophisticated that even big-name companies such as Uber, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon have been victims of ad fraud in recent years. 

So what does this mean for the rest of the industry? The answer is simple: every ad company, no matter their size or budget is just as at risk as the big guns – if not more. 

In this article, I summarize some of the biggest and most shocking cases of ad fraud we’ve witnessed over recent years and notably, what vital lessons marketers and advertisers can learn from them to avoid wasting their own budgets. 

The biggest ad fraud cases in recent years 

From fake clicks and click flooding to bad bots and fake ad impressions, fraudsters have and will go to any lengths to siphon critical dollars from your ad budgets.

Let’s take a look at some of the most high-profile and harmful ad fraud cases of recent years that have impacted some of the most well-known brands around the world. 

Methbot: $5 million a day lost through fake video views 

In 2016, Aleksandr Zhukov, the self-proclaimed “King of Fraud”, and his group of fraudsters were discovered to have been making between $3 and $5 million a day by executing fake clicks on video advertisements. 

Oft-cited as the biggest digital ad fraud operation ever uncovered, “Methbot” was a sophisticated botnet scheme that involved defrauding brands by enabling countless bots to watch 300 million video ads per day on over 6000 spoofed websites. 

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Due to the relatively high cost-per-mille (CPM) for video ads, Aleksandr and his group were able to steal millions of dollars a day by targeting high-value marketplaces. Some of the victims of the Methbot fraud ring include The New York Times, The New York Post, Comcast, and Nestle.

In late 2021, Aleksandr Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $3.8 million in restitution. 

Uber: $100 million wasted in ad spend 

In another high-profile case, transportation giant Uber filed a lawsuit against five ad networks in 2019 – Fetch, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi, and AdAction Interactive – and won. 

Uber claimed that its ads were not converting, and ultimately discovered that roughly two-thirds of its ad budget ($100 million) wasn’t needed. This was on account of ad retargeting companies that were abusing the system by creating fraudulent traffic. 

The extent of the ad fraud was discovered when the company cut $100 million in ad spend and saw no change in the number of rider app installs. 

In 2020, Uber also won another lawsuit against Phunware Inc. when they discovered that the majority of Uber app installations that the company claimed to have delivered were produced by the act of click flooding. 

Criteo: Claims sues competitor for allegedly running a damaging counterfeit click fraud scheme 

In 2016, Criteo, a retargeting and display advertising network, claimed that competitor Steelhouse (now known as MNTM) ran a click fraud scheme against Criteo in a bid to damage the company’s reputation and to fraudulently take credit for user visits to retailers’ web pages. 

Criteo filed a lawsuit claiming that due to Steelhouse’s alleged actions — the use of bots and other automated methods to generate fake clicks on shoe retailer TOMS’ ads — Criteo ultimately lost TOMS as a client. Criteo has accused Steelhouse of carrying out this type of ad fraud in a bid to prove that Steelhouse provided a more effective service than its own. 

Twitter: Elon Musk claims that the platform hosts a high number of inauthentic accounts 

In one of the biggest and most tangled tech deals in recent history, the Elon Musk and Twitter saga doesn’t end with Twitter taking Musk to court for backing out of an agreement to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.

In yet another twist, Musk has also claimed that Twitter hid the real number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. He has also accused the company of fraud by alleging that these accounts make up around 10% of Twitter’s daily active users who see ads, essentially meaning that 65 million of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are not seeing them at all. 

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6 Lessons marketers can learn from these high-profile ad fraud cases 

All of these cases demonstrate that ad fraud is a pervasive and ubiquitous practice that has incredibly damaging and long-lasting effects on even the most well-known brands around the world. 

The bottom line is this: Marketers and advertisers can no longer afford to ignore ad fraud if they’re serious about reaching their goals and objectives. Here are some of the most important lessons and takeaways from these high-profile cases. 

  1. No one is safe from ad fraud 

Everyone — from small businesses to large corporations like Uber — is affected by ad fraud. Plus, fraudsters have no qualms over location: no matter where in the world you operate, you are susceptible to the consequences of ad fraud. 

  1. Ad fraud is incredibly hard to detect using manual methods

Fraudsters use a huge variety of sneaky techniques and channels to scam and defraud advertisers, which means ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect manually. This is especially true if organizations don’t have the right suggestions and individuals dedicated to tracking and monitoring the presence of ad fraud. 

Even worse, when organizations do have teams in place monitoring ad fraud, they are rarely experts, and cannot properly pore through the sheer amount of data that each campaign produces to accurately pinpoint it.

  1. Ad fraud wastes your budget, distorts your data, and prevents you from reaching your goals

Ad fraud drains your budget significantly, which is a huge burden for any company. However, there are also other ways it impacts your ability to deliver results. 

For example, fake clicks and click bots lead to skewed analytics, which means that when you assess advertising channels and campaigns based on the traffic and engagement they receive, you’re actually relying on flawed data to make future strategic decisions. 

Finally – and as a result of stolen budgets and a reliance on flawed data – your ability to reach your goals is highly compromised. 

  1. You’re likely being affected by ad fraud already, even if you don’t know it yet

As seen in many of these cases, massive amounts of damage were caused because the brands weren’t aware that they were being targeted by fraudsters. Plus, due to the lack of awareness surrounding ad fraud in general, it’s highly likely that you’re being affected by ad fraud already. 

  1. You have options to fight the effects of ad fraud  

Luckily, as demonstrated by these cases, there are some options available to counteract the impact and losses caused by ad fraud, such as requesting a refund or even making a case to sue. In such cases, ad fraud detection solutions are extremely useful to uncover ad fraud and gather evidence. 

  1. But the best option is to prevent ad fraud from the get-go

The best ad fraud protection is ad fraud prevention. The only surefire way to stop fraudsters from employing sophisticated fraud schemes and attacking your campaigns is by implementing equally sophisticated solutions. Anti-ad fraud software solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence help you keep fraud at bay, enabling you to focus on what matters: optimizing your campaigns and hitting your goals. 


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