If you’ve been on Twitter over the past week or so, you’ve likely seen extremely viral tweets that include random links to Twitter Spaces, the platform’s audio chat room feature. If you’ve clicked on any of those Twitter Spaces links, you’ll likely find a nonsensical Twitter Spaces chat scheduled for some time in the future that’s completely unrelated to the tweet. The user also has no apparent intention of going live in their Twitter Spaces chat.
So, why are Twitter users doing this?
As with nearly every weird, quirky trend among Twitter users since Elon Musk acquired the company, the answer is simple: It’s because of the algorithm.
Twitter users are convinced that Twitter’s latest algorithm change, which decides what shows up in your feed, means the site is now specifically promoting tweets that include a Twitter Spaces link. Algorithms usually consider many different factors that go into deciding what’s recommended on any platform, but the Twitter Spaces theory does have some weight to it.
Numerous Twitter users are reporting seeing tweets that include these Twitter Spaces links rocketing to the top of their For You feed, the default Twitter feed that includes tweet and user recommendations alongside posts from the users you actually follow.
I’ve noticed the prioritizing of tweets that include Twitter Spaces links personally on my account as well. Over the past week, two separate tweets from user @ykkswb have gained over one million likes. I discovered these tweets as they were among the first Twitter posts shown to me upon opening my Twitter feed. This user has around 37,000 followers. Most of their tweets receive no more than a few hundred to one thousand likes. The difference between @ykkswb’s viral tweets and their usual content? The two viral tweets contain a Twitter Spaces link.
Other users have been able to replicate the Twitter Spaces link hack in order to boost their engagement as well.
Last week, Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, locked his account to test another engagement hack that was making the rounds on the platform. Twitter users were reporting that simply setting their account to private would cause their tweets to be boosted by the algorithm. While it’s unclear what Musk discovered, he tweeted that the test “helped identify some issues with the system.”
So, if you happen to see Elon Musk tweeting out memes with a random Twitter Spaces link attached in the next few days, you’ll know why.