What is Twitter Spaces, where Ron DeSantis made his 2024 announcement?

Elon Musk had touted audio platform but it suffered repeated technical issues

Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California. AP
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis made his 2024 presidential campaign announcement in an unorthodox fashion: through a live chat with billionaire Elon Musk during a Twitter Spaces session.

However, things soon went awry as Twitter's servers overloaded and the broadcast glitched out for about 25 minutes, leading to an awkward delay in Mr DeSantis's much anticipated announcement.

“There’s so many people,” said host David Sacks amid the disruptions. “We’ve got so many people here that we are kind of melting the servers, which is a good sign.”

DeSantis opponents had a field day with the delayed announcement.

"Glitchy. Tech issues. Uncomfortable silences. A complete failure to launch. And that’s just the candidate!” said Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for former president and current candidate Donald Trump.

The word “DeSaster” was trending on Twitter on Wednesday evening as users mocked the botched campaign launch.

What is Twitter Spaces?

Twitter Spaces is a feature on the social media platform that allows users to have live audio conversations. Twitter said the feature allows “for open, authentic and unfiltered discussions”.

Mr Musk himself has previously expressed a desire for Twitter to become “somewhat of a town square”.

Users with 600 or more followers are able to host a Space and 13 people can speak in one of the forums at any given time.

Twitter Spaces are also public and all users have access to them.

Each Space has a link that can be shared via tweet or direct message. Spaces featuring a host that a user follows will appear at the top of that user's timeline.

The feature is audio only, which Twitter said gives users the ability to host from anywhere.

“From home, on location or at a sports game or awards show, you can bring the power of your voice straight to the audience,” Twitter said.

Mr Musk has used the feature to discuss Twitter, Tesla and his thoughts on the economy.

Does Mr Musk support Mr DeSantis?

Mr Musk said in November he would support the Republican Governor should he run for the White House.

However, during a Tuesday conference, the billionaire said he was not “planning to endorse any particular candidate” for now.

The Tesla boss has been critical of President Joe Biden's administration and said Mr DeSantis would be able to defeat him in the election.

Updated: May 25, 2023, 2:42 AM