Can you hear me…on social media?
It has become very easy to share just about anything these days. You can create albums of digital pictures, a feed of 140 character tweets, a playlist of videos about basically anything, or share pictures and videos that only exist for 10 seconds. What about sound? We have Instagram, what about audiogram? That is what sparked an idea with WNYC to push podcasts through social media, specifically small pieces of shareable audio.
I found this to be a pretty interesting idea since there have been a few audio-only apps, and they have failed to keep up with others. Remember Voxer, the walkie-talkie like app that let you send small bites of sound to your friends?
You may also find this interesting if you attended the Thursday panel of Meet the Media a couple weeks ago. In fact, one of the panelists’ answer to the question, “What’s next,” actually suggested shareable sound.
The new idea of the “audiogram” focuses less on being its own app that people check every day. Instead, the creators want their audiograms to be shared across the platforms people are already using (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). The main reason behind their push is to bring people’s interest back to podcasts.
The major problem for the app? A majority of people scroll through social media without their sound on. Generally, we look at our feeds while in a waiting room, between classes, or in line for something. Most of the areas do not necessarily encourage people to sit on their phones listening to everything on their news feed, especially not a podcast. To try to fight this problem, the podcasts are just quotes or samples that encourage people to later listen to the rest. The people crafting the audiograms will have to carefully select sound bites that are short enough to not lose a user’s attention but have enough information or detail to make the user want to hear more. Also, adding captions will help for those who aren’t looking at their social media pages at home.
I don’t see audiograms having much successful until people can read captions. Although, doesn’t that mean the “gram” is no longer audio? Our feed will be full of “captiongrams”. It is possible that the captions will peak people’s interest and encourage them to actually turn up their sound and listen, but I am a little skeptical.