Nandini YadavJuly 15, 2021 11:19:02 AMT
Clubhouse and Twitter status may seem like the last word in a drop-in voice chat format, but the space develops faster than you might realize.
Founder Sudha K Varadarajan and Arish Ali are a San Francisco startup called Swell, a new voice-based social platform that looks like a mix at first glance WhatsApp voice notes, Instagram feeds and Clubhouse voice conversation, but the final decoction is unique – and its beauty is asynchrony.
Unlike platform-like Clubhouse where the conversations are now or never – that is, you hear them either live or miss them altogether – Swell allows users to post separate (up to five minutes in length) audio clips with the accompanying image and links in the feed. Other users can browse, listen to and leave their own voice responses at their own time.
Swell has options only for voice group conversations, private conversations (think: DMs) or public conversations Swelling. Swellcast is more than a discussion thread on Twitter, except that the discussion includes audio clips.
If you want to know more about how Swell works how it differs from platforms like Clubhouse, how challenging content moderation is on sound – based platforms and why the sound format is Gold socks discussion area, we spoke with Sudha K Varadarajan, the founders and CEO of Swell.
Tech2: What makes the voice chat format so comfortable to adapt and thus so popular?
Reserve limit: Talking is the most natural form of communication – for which people have developed comfort over thousands of years. Text-driven social platforms have forced people to communicate in a way that is not natural – with compressed text and mothers. Therefore, voice-based voice chat has been a refreshing change and popular because it has allowed people to return to a more natural way of communicating. At the other extreme, video chats tend to be very intrusive and put us in much higher demand – we’re worried about how we look, where we are, video bandwidth, etc., which takes us away from focusing on the conversation and just getting the sound heard.
Voice is a mode that does not contain such restrictions, allowing users to focus only on their communication, effortlessly, and that is why it has become so popular.
Tech2: How Swell differs Clubhouse or Twitter status?
Reserve limit: Swell is very different from any other live-drop-in sound environment, both in terms of functionality and purpose.
In Swell, users can upload audio clips of up to 5 minutes in length, which anyone can listen to at their convenience. these messages may be accompanied by other media, such as photos and links. Users do not need to be present in real time to participate in discussions. So, otherwise Clubhouse or Twitter status, on Swell, the nature of the conversations is asynchronous.
Together, the platform aims to keep conversations unpolarized and humanized, and have a clear purpose, feeling, and empathy, unlike most social media platforms. Users talk about topics like the original recipe they’ve tried or a beautiful place they’re exploring in separate Swellcasts files.
The five-minute cap also ensures that users have access to a diverse selection of content in a short amount of time, meaning the user can listen to 20 different Swells and respond to 10 different people in the time he or she listens. one full podcast episode. The platform’s fast-paced nature is designed to make it relevant and attractive to a younger audience as it is the fastest growing population in the sound mode.
Tech2: How difficult is content control for platforms like Swell and Clubhouse?
Reserve limit: Swell’s structure and culture make moderation a much easier problem for Swell than for other sound platforms such as Clubhouse.
The biggest challenge of private real-time voice chat, and some also claim its greatest appeal, is that it is private, so people feel less blocked and can say anything they want, leading to conversations that can be needed much more moderately to avoid offensive and damaging individuals and groups .
The swelling, on the other hand, has been about authenticity and responsibility from the beginning. Most Swell conversations are public and can be heard by anyone at any time. Swelling is also asynchronous, which means people can think before they respond and say anything. This ensures that people are already self-monitoring and thoughtful before the release of Swell. There is less chance of a moment of turmoil that they might require moderators to jump.
Nonetheless, the moderation of content on any social media network is usually a difficult issue because the content is exclusively user-created. So the more the number of users – which is a benefit to the platform – the more a robust control mechanism is required.
As for Swell, we have decided to give power back to the users because they have complete control measures. Users are allowed to remove any offensive or unpleasant replies to their posts without being questioned by the Swell moderation team. Similarly, in Swellcasts, all hosts have administrator rights.
Tech2: With Twitter joining this space earlier this year, how challenging it will be for platforms like Swell to find an audience?
Reserve limit: We believe an audience that would visit the live drop sound platform would also visit Swell according to the purpose of the visit. For example, a user can listen to a topic of interest in a real-time conversation on a drop-in platform. But it would only be a limited session, so once it’s over, there’s nothing stopping him from talking about what he liked in the conversation, his main setbacks in Swell. Because Swell is a forum where people can share their lives with a voice, it is not limited to any particular topic or time.
So we believe we will gradually build our audience base as Swell complements other players in the industry and does not compete with them.
Tech2: Twitter and Clubhouse are both experimenting with a commercialization model, is Swell working on something similar?
Reserve limit: Currently, we focus on providing users with a humanized and authentic social audio networking experience. And so for that, we’ve ruled out all ad-based commercialization models for now. In the future, we will look at generating revenue through an exclusive premium subscription and payment-based access to some of the premium features of the app.
While the first option allows users to access the creator content they really want to listen to by paying a certain price, the second option is pretty self-explanatory. However, these features will still be available for some time.
Tech2: Is sound the future?
Reserve limit: It may not be right to say that sound is the future, because it might mean that it did not exist in the past or does not exist in the present. The sound was and is very much, for example, via FM, radio or other medium. Social voice is just one new dimension for this industry that is here to stay. And it complements all other forms of communication, whether visual or text-based, because of individual preferences, requirements, or functionality.