You might think that clubhouse is the last word on audio-focused social networks, but a San Francisco startup is called Swell Launching its own iOS and Android app focused on voice chat.
The big difference: While conversations at the clubhouse all take place in real-time – that means you’ve got to listen live or remember it all (at least for now) – Swell focuses on asynchronous comments. In other words, users post a standalone audio clip that can be up to five minutes in length (together with an image and link), then other users can browse, listen to their own audio responses in their own time And can leave.
Swell supports audio-only group chats and private conversations, as well as public “swellcasts”, which are more similar to bite-sized poducts, or a clubhouse-style conversation that is a free-for-all The comment from is structured like a thread. Users can also promote their public posts through their own pages Swellcast website.
Swale is led by husband-wife team Sudha Varadarajan and Arish Ali, who founded the first e-commerce company Skava and sold it to Infosys.
Varadarajan (CEO of the startup) described the application as an attempt to “democratize” audio content creation, requiring no special equipment or serious production, and allowing users to talk about anything. (In one instance, Swelcaster was talking about his front lawn.)
At the same time, she suggested that the app was made less as a reaction to the clubhouse and as a general antidote to social media, where the pair saw increasing polarization and less real interaction.
Audio is hardly immune to runting and rage – just watch on talk radio. But Varadarajan suggested that making posts asynchronous does not make it easier to hold the audience; This also improves the quality of the conversation: “People really think what they are going to say.”
He said the company is determined to avoid any advertising-based business model and instead makes money by charging for premium tools and swellcasts.
Until now, Swale has only been open to a small group of users. Today it is launching more extensively, ahead of its session at Virtual SXSW, “Voice is changing our online presence. Why?“