Sharing voice recordings on social media has been a troubled concept. Whereas sharing videos or pictures has been perfected over the years, audio has never found much leeway either in ease of sharing or popularity among the masses. One of the most important reasons for this trend is that the various apps and services dedicated to audio sharing have mostly been lacking in one way or the other, steering people towards forgoing shareable audio as a viable platform. Sobo and Bumpers are two examples of similar apps that are struggling to gain considerable traction. ‘Anchor.fm’, a new social audio app, aims to amend all that and bring audio to the foreground of social media.
Record a "wave" and let others reply
The app, which is currently available on iOS, allows anyone to instantly record and subsequently publish snippets of audio for everyone’s listening pleasure. Each post on the platform is called a “wave”. Once an Anchor wave has been published, others can join in the conversation and post their own audio comments in response. The author can initially record up to 2 minutes of audio whereas replies to the wave can be up to 1-minute long. The result is a collaborative podcast of sorts or a ‘Radio by the people’ as the Anchor.fm team would say. The concept works very similar to social networks like Instagram and Twitter where people can follow and be followed by anyone.
For now, the emphasis on content discovery is placed through a variety of “Best of” waves, allowing users to not only get a glimpse of how the platform operates but also to find topics and users that interest them. Though there are a number of professional podcasters on the platform, the service is aimed equally at the everyday user who simply wants to share audio instead of other multimedia types. Anchor’s waves are embeddable and shareable across all major social networks so you will see them popping up on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs as in the example below:
Create audio content
Thankfully for the casual user, using Anchor is incredibly easy. Once you sign up, the app will attempt to populate your feed in two ways. First, from the people that you already follow on Twitter. Secondly, from a number of curated waves which aim to cover broad interest areas. As you use the app, the feed will become more personalized and you will be encouraged to follow more people that you like. The ‘Discover’ page is a great place to find waves from an array of different topics including movies, sports, technology, and more.
If you want to elevate yourself from a content consumer to a creator, all you have to do is press the recording button which you will find in virtually every page of the app. Users are encouraged to hold their phones up to their ears as if they were speaking on the phone. Once you have recorded whatever you want to share with the world, it will get published. At that point, others can join in your conversation and reply with their own audio snippets.
A truly promising app. Anchor has been designed with a user-friendly approach in mind as it attempts to revolutionize social audio sharing. As the platform grows, users will be able to find an incredibly variety of topics of interest. As of now, only a few major players have joined in, including WNYC. The only thing that’s missing is more users so that everyone can join in conversations that are actually relevant to their needs and wants. Other than that, Anchor.fm has the capacity to truly become the next big thing in social media.