The water-cooler effect
My live audio experiences on Twitter Spaces, Telegram
We love a chit-chat.
It could be between friends, colleagues, or peers.
On the Internet, this scuttlebutt is happening on Twitter, Reddit, Clubhouse (only among Apple phone users), Telegram, and soon, Facebook.
While no one has figured the right format, it is attracting an audience.
What is it?
Think of the water-cooler effect, where people gravitate and talk in shared spaces in the office.
It’s unstructured. Topics can vary. Because it happens between breaks, it’s short.
I joined some of these conversations on Twitter Spaces and on Telegram.
A more recent one was hosted by Splice.
Read more about the “audio movement” on the Splice Slugs Newsletter that goes out every Friday.
Live audio is not a podcast
Live audio is spontaneous, no agenda.
You can jump into these live audio sessions as a listener or as a participant.
Some used it as a venue to hold audio press conferences, a format familiar to journalists.
Another format features a guest on the mic. A moderator then controls the flow of the conversation.
Think of a talk show, with people phoning in.
There are no scripts. But I notice that there were guide questions prepared.
Social audio space
Facebook’s entry into this space is inevitable.
Late in the game, this social network aims to dominate this space soon.
Mark Zuckerburg calls it a “first-class medium” in a conversation on Discord, a platform that has been hosting live audio for some time.
Facebook is joining a crowded space for live audio content.
So let’s see how that goes.
Why social audio is attracting an audience
One, it’s new.
Two, the format is less intrusive.
Three, it’s easy to do. You just need to turn on your “mic” and talk.
Four, we love a chit-chat among friends.
Five, it remains organic, and raw. There’s no single format.
Six, it’s unmoderated.
It is the shiny new toy. Until the Internet giants ruin the experience.