How might businesses create meaningful experiences with social audio? This question is becoming increasingly important as social audio apps such as Clubhouse continue to accumulate members and achieve incredible buzz. A newly published report by Kaleido Insights highlights many ways businesses might play in the world of social audio.
- Clubhouse, the popular social media app where people communicate through audio chat rooms, has gained more than 10 million members within just a few months. Clubhouse, which describes itself as a destination for “drop-in audio chat,” was launched in 2020 and has rapidly ascended with the financial backing of venture capitalist investor Andreessen Horowitz. In a world already saturated by social apps, the growth of Clubhouse is astounding.
- But Clubhouse is only one of many social audio apps exploding on the scene. For example, Quilt, an audio social network that focuses on wellness and community, has raised a $3.5 million seed round led by Mayfield Fund.
- According to thought leader Jeremiah Owyang, social audio is the “’Goldilocks’ medium for the 2020s: Text is not enough, and video is too much; social audio is just right. It represents the opportunity for social connection and empathy without the downsides of video. Why is this use case taking off? – humans, stuck at home during quarantine; readily available smartphones and apps; cloud-based technology and easy integration platforms like Agora; the desire for human connection beyond text; and fatigue from too many video conference calls.”
- So far, social audio has been a platform for individuals. But Owyang and his colleagues at Kaleido Insights recently published a report that shares several ways businesses can be involved. For instance, in the field of customer care, Owyang says that the day is coming when businesses can use “AI-powered chatbots to answer simple customer care questions via voice assistant. (Our research suggests that day is here.) Social audio could be especially useful in assisting those with accessibility issues who prefer voice communication. For example, Nestle’s latest Toll House AI bot ‘Ruth’ could easily become a persistent voice in Clubhouse.”
Why This News Matters to Businesses
- The time is now for businesses to understand how they might incorporate social audio. As we have seen time and again, with emerging technologies, businesses that sense and respond reap the benefits. Businesses that take a wait-and-see approach invariably fall behind. This is true of just about every technology and platform we’ve been part of, ranging from artificial intelligence to immersive reality.
- In fact, businesses can get involved in social audio now. One way is to rely on employees to participate in apps such as Clubhouse, share thought leadership of their own (via audio chat rooms), and study how people on social audio interact. Clubhouse in and of itself is a massive focus group. The time to learn is now.
What Businesses Should Do
- Sensing and responding to social audio does not need to entail a major investment of time and money. Consider using test-and-learn tools such as design sprints that make it possible to try new business models and technologies quickly and cost-effectively. (We work with businesses all the time to innovate with design sprints.)
- We also believe it’s essential that enterprises apply social audio to create lovable experiences that put the needs of people at the center. As our own Mark Persaud wrote in 2019, “At Moonshot, we believe in the power and need for empathy-driven design with all of our products and experiences to really enhance or enable the lives of the users. Those experiences need to be designed with users, not just for users. The difference between “with” and “for” is again a small nuance in how we design, but it makes a big difference in the outcome and the associated product adoption.
Not only can we you get started with adopting emerging technologies, but we love doing it! Through our FUEL methodology, we apply techniques such as design thinking and lean innovation to rapidly develop meaningful experiences and scale them. If that’s of interest, give us a shout and let’s create inspirational, impactful, and user-centric innovation.