Twitter

The Twittersphere is full of discussions over anything and everything underneath (or even beyond) the sun.

From current affairs to society shifting, life-changing or humurous, ludicrous hashtags, the social media platform simulates a virtual online global village.

Since 2007 when it was founded, Twitter has rapidly altered the public conversational landscape. Anyone with an internet connection and access to the Twitter app can inflict their opinions upon the world. And anyone else can unite in agreement or dissent.

In turn, worldviews have also been propagated and agenda setting — that precious preserve of the media — has been shared with the social media website.

And even as the nature of public conversation continues to evolve, Twitter has taken a step towards the on-coming trend.

In an update announced on the site’s blog on May 29, the platform is now offering adding of guests to its live video service.

“… now you can host a live video and invite up to three people as guests. Those you allow to join can be heard by everyone and can drop off at any time.” Twitter said.

The feature means that while a user is recording a live video on the site, other users can join with their audio responses being heard. It is, as Twitter said, geared at giving enthusiasts of the platform the opportunity to discuss their interests with “anyone around the world and actually hear their perspective and reactions in real-time.”

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Eric Mugendi, Managing Editor at East African fact-checking platform PesaCheck, said the new update is an interesting one.

“It speaks more to Twitter’s role as the place where many of these interactions happen,” he said.

Mugendi, who uses Twitter several times a day both on his personal account and for PesaCheck’s platform, added the new update adds a new layer to social media interactions. “Rather than following text updates, you can watch people react, and they can watch you too.”

While Twitter said that it was also thinking of ways to add video — rather than only audio — for guests too, it said that the new update was inspired by a changing wave within the public conversation atmosphere.

“We’ve learned how valuable the audio experience is for people to discuss topics they care about, because when you can chat live together, it’s more fun!”

This is something echoed by Temesgen Gebre who manages the musical outfit Wen Music.

Gebre who regularly checks Twitter when he is online on several occasions during the course of a day, agrred with the social media platform’s prognosis that the world is going audio.

“Everything will be about voice. Podcasts will be the in thing in a few years. Twitter is just spearheading that trend,” he said.

The Wen Music manager added that with live interactions now available via Twitter live video, individuals will require very little capital to begin podcasts. As long as you can invite guests onto your video, you can discuss any issues with them, just the way recorded podcasts do.

Mugendi however had a caveat to add about the new feature. “I think it’s too much of a distraction, given it takes your attention from the thing you’re watching or doing.”

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