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Your Guide to Social Audio: Clubhouse and Other Voice-Based Social Media

Voices: “You enter a social audio room and hear multiple voices discussing a trending topic. You record yourself telling a story about your day and you share it with a friend. You sit in the virtual audience of a keynote speech and ask a question by speaking into your phone’s mic. You bombard your followers with comical soundbites of your voice distorted in high and low pitches. You select an audio snippet from your favorite podcast and post it onto your feed.  These are but a few of the ways that new social audio products have given people the opportunity to connect with one another using the power of sound.  Until recently, the dominant social media platforms—such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and Snapchat—have mainly used images, video, and text as a means for their users to create and share content. In some instances, listening platforms like SoundCloud have allowed users to directly engage with audio content by leaving comments at certain points on a track’s timestamp. More often than not, however, audio has simply served as a secondary consideration meant to complement visual media—instead of standing on its own. Now, audio is getting its moment in the spotlight. In our age of remote work and social distancing, more people than ever are turning to social media to keep in touch with friends, stay informed about global events, and be entertained. At the same time, users have grown tired of staring at screens for long stretches.  The solution to the screen fatigue that we’re all experiencing? Voice-based social media.  From a trending invite-only audio app to existing social platforms that have set out to capitalize on the growing consumer interest in voice-based social experiences, audio has stepped up to the new frontier of social media—and it’s making a lot of ears perk up. But is social audio simply a flash in the pan? Or will it resonate for years to come?  Let’s take a look at the biggest media platforms that are making pioneering strides in the social audio space…”

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