Are audio social media apps the future of marketing?
Let’s find out.
Social platforms conquered text. Then video. And today, it’s an audio-focused world.
Today, more and more people are turning to voice-based social networks as a medium for communication than ever; a move that’s further catapulted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Marketers understand the importance of being sympathetic when promoting their products and written text cannot effectively convey emotion and tone thus the hottest trend to watch out for is audio-based social networking.
Audio-based social media apps allow people to deeply engage and users can listen to conversations while walking their dogs, driving, etc.
A few years ago, social networks conquered text. Then video became the hottest trend. Today, voice-based social media apps are disrupting the way we consume social content.
The pandemic has changed the way people communicate. Social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others allow people to stay in touch. However, they don’t satisfy a simple human need- hearing the voice of another.
This is where voice-based apps are becoming popular.
Not yet convinced?
Take a look at the statistics below:
- On average, humans can speak 150 wpm and only type between 38 and 40 words per minute.
- Studies suggest that 50% of all internet searches are voice-activated.
Undoubtedly, voice is on the rise. And as a marketer, if there is a better time to pay attention to voice-based social networks then it’s now.
We’ll talk about the top audio social media apps and the reasons why they are growing in popularity at a moment.
But before that, let’s learn a few things:
What is Social Audio for Marketers and Businesses
Given the buzz the word social audio has created, it’s expected for marketers and businesses to wonder what this hottest trend is and how it might impact daily activities.
And if you’ve ever heard of Clubhouse, you might be wondering whether we should prepare for a new media frontier.
Social media started largely as text, emojis, and videos.
Today, a new component is taking social media by a storm- social audio.
Marketers and businesses have been using podcast audio for some time now.
However, podcast audio is a one-way broadcast medium. It’s recorded for people to listen and not engage with each other.
Social audio allows listeners to actively participate in the conversation.
The rapid development of audio-based social media apps is a sign that social audio is here to stay.
What are Audio-Based Social Media Apps?
Social audio platforms, otherwise known as audio-based or voice-based social media apps are platforms that allow users to create a room or group and have a conversation with others using audio communication.
These apps can be downloaded and installed on mobile phones and allow people to have real-time conversations.
Audio social media apps allow content creators to distribute their content to different audiences.
Clubhouse, HearMeOut, and Audlist are just a few of the popular social audio platforms that allow people to engage in real-time through audio.
Why is Voice Becoming the Hottest Trend?
Audio-based conversations increase the time users can be social.
Besides, there are over 2.2 billion people with a near or distance vision impairment globally- Quite a huge population that has been widely ignored for years.
Fortunately, with the development of voice-based social networks, this population is taken care of.
Also, voice-based social platforms allow users to have an interactive, engaging, and highly effective conversion which gives brands a huge competitive differentiator with audio-based advertising.
If you’re not embracing this trend then you’re giving your competitors space to shine over you.
That said, here are several reasons why social networks are embracing audio after text and video.
Audio/voice keeps users longer on the platform
The pandemic has decreased face-to-face interactions and people have been forced to connect virtually while observing social distancing protocols.
Nevertheless, consume attention can be brief.
To keep users longer in their apps, social networks are integrating audio features and functionalities that allow users to have interactive and highly effective conversations.
Voice offers users an alternative consumption method
Not all people enjoy visual or textual content.
Besides, consumers are looking for more confidential or personal experiences instead of the broadcast nature of Facebook News Feed and or tweets.
This explains why audio-based conversations are becoming the hottest trend these days.
With that, let’s get into the meat of this article:
5 Popular Voice-Based Social Media Apps
The current audio wave catapulted by the introduction of new audio devices and podcasts has led to the development of various audio-based social media apps.
Here are the most popular voice-based social platforms available in the market today:
Riffr -Social (micro) Podcasting
Riffr is yet another audio-driven social media platform launched by MobileSphere, a mobile messaging company founded in 2013 with a focus on mobile communication and software.
From the official website, Riffr is marketed as a free social (micro) podcasting app and website that lets users record, upload, share, and listen to high-quality audio content with others.
The platform is also available both for iOS and Android and allows users to posts audio clips of 5 seconds to 3 minutes long.
You can record or stream audio conversations through the app and enjoy audio content on different topics like entertainment, comedy, health, and wellness, etc.
What’s more, Riffr, allows creators and users experience content authentically and reliably.
The good news about this audio-focused app is that you can add your cover image to your audio content and other voice modifiers.
You don’t need to be a professional podcaster to use Riffr.
Besides, you can share your audio posts on various social channels as well.
Another greatest thing about this app is that it allows you to create a network with people you like so that you can be the first to get their audio posts.
Here are a few things to note about the platform:
Riffr is open for anyone to join, create a network with others, record short audio clips, post publicly or private riffs, and enjoy audio clips published by others on the app or website.
Once you join, you can start gaining followers, follow other users, comment on riffs, and stay updated with new content.
You can share public riffs and share them by text message, email, or post on websites and social media and other users can listen to them without having to download the app or joining Riffr.
Riffr categorizes topics based on their niche like music, entertainment, etc.
With Riffr, your privacy is respected. You’ll just need your name and email or phone to register.
Since riffs are streamed and not downloaded, users control what they posts or share with others.
Audlist is also a popular and free audio-first social media that allows users to connect with friends and family through voice.
With Audlist, you can listen and interact with your favorite podcast or create yours from scratch within a few seconds.
According to the official website, Audlist is suitable for people who are always on the go or those that don’t have the time to look at the screen.
The good news is that you can share your podcasts anywhere.
Currently, Audlist is available for iOS and Android.
Another great thing about the audio social network is that you can post short or long audio content and you can send audio messages on other content creators’ posts.
Clubhouse is a voice-based social network that works like a chatroom where users can listen or engage in live conversations.
The audio app was launched in March 2020 and has already exceeded 8.1 million downloads worldwide.
The app allows users to connect with others, share thoughts and learn from experts.
The good news is that anyone can join Clubhouse; although you have to get an invitation from other users to access the app- it’s an invite-only audio-focused social app.
Besides, it’s only available on iOS. It’s scheduled to be open to Android users.
With Clubhouse, you can have private or public conversations.
The app has already attracted celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and high-profile entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg.
Aside from the excitement, Clubhouse is said to lack regulation hence it’s likely to be faced with the spread of fake news and hate speech online.
Apart from that, Clubhouse seems to be taking audio social to another level.
Listen – Free Voice Chat Rooms
Listen is more of voice chat rooms than an audio app and allows users to record their voices to share with others.
The app is available on iOS and Android for free.
The good news about Listen is that it allows you to start a conversation with any user on the app.
This helps you to discover and connect with new users and make friends.
You can post a question or share a story with other users on Listen.
To join Listen is easy and quick. And once you get in, you can initiate a conversation by sending a voice reply to other users.
The app also allows users to save their conversations in Stories.
HearMeOut is perhaps the coolest kid in town in the social audio realm.
The platform allows users to record audio content or voice clips of up to 42 seconds to share to a user’s feed.
Besides, the audio-focused social media app lets users share min podcasts or audio clips to any social media network including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
The best thing about this audio platform is that it allows users to tap into a huge and new audience that other platforms cannot.
Undeniably, the free social app available on iOS and Android has re-introduced the importance of audio, brings it back to the social arena, and allows users to share their voices and listen to what others have to say.
As if that’s not all, the social audio platform introduces social commuting in private cars. The company has developed the first social radio by integrating the vehicle systems and API. This allows you to listen and record posts while driving using voice control features.
You can also share posts on your preferred social network while driving without taking your eyes off the road.
Just recently, HearMeOut partnered with Ford Motors making it the only social app in Ford entertainment systems.
Many influencers are already taking advantage of this platform to increase the reach of brands they collaborate with.
The good news about this platform is that you can comment on posts of other people you follow in written text or share voice posts on Twitter in the form of Voice Tweets, something that Audlist doesn’t allow.
Sharing 42 seconds recorded audio clip might sound deficient to convey your message but the audio-based platform comes with noteworthy features that let you create and share a punchy story right away.
For instance, the platform allows users to add a voice filter, create voice memes, or add images to make their recording effective.
Audio-Based Social Media Apps are Here to Stay
To say that time has come for social audio apps isn’t enough given how these apps have contributed to the effectiveness and instructiveness of communication.
But just to emphasize this point:
Audio-based conversations have had a lot of advantages over text and image-driven social networks during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Voice-based conversations offer a more personal form of communication than written text hence audio-based social media apps are becoming more tempting than ever during the lockdown.
Podcasts allow users to participate in a conversation even when doing other things.
The introduction of wireless earpieces and new audio devices is propelling the development of social audio apps.
Undeniably, the way people interact and communicate is changing. Audio and podcasts are evolving fast and increasing massively.
Today, content creators can record and share short audio clips with their audience or listen to other people’s audio content.
And before we forget, more and more audio-focused social media apps are coming up every day- a sign that social audio marketing is the way to go for marketers and businesses.