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SoBo Is Vine For Audio

Six Seconds To Say Your Piece

If there was one problem people had with the Internet circa 2012, it was that its existence wasn’t damaging our attention spans quite enough. “I can watch YouTube videos for too long,” people would scream in the streets, their fists shaking angrily at the sky, “why must I be cursed with these high levels of concentration?”

Fortunately, Vine was about to come along and fix that. Its service allowed its users to share unfunny, mercilessly short videos in six second bursts – and the amount of time we were able to spend actively doing any one thing plummeted to near-dangerous levels.

Six seconds became the new sixty minutes.

A new app aims to do the same with our speech. SoBo, founded by The Giant Pixel Corporation, San Francisco, is an app which will allow us to record six seconds of audio and share it with the service’s entire network. Much like Vine, anything you upload is entirely public. If a SoBo user likes what you have to say, they can follow you, giving them updates every time you speak. It’s YouTube’s subscription service, except it's only for audio.

Alan Braverman, a co-founder and investor of The Giant Pixel Corporation, talked through why he feels the service has a genuine chance of becoming as big as Vine: “I’ve watched the plain text status update evolve. From the old school Unix ‘wall’ command, to the heyday of instant messaging, and then on to Tweets, users have been broadcasting status updates in plain text. With SoBo, we wanted to take the status update beyond plain text. Your SoBo followers hear your status updates in your own voice.”
The service bridges the gap between today’s text-based social networks and good old fashioned conversation. It’s unclear whether allowing six seconds of audio will capture the internet’s imagination as much as allowing 140 characters, but it doesn’t seem to be beyond the realms of possibility that the service will find a niche market who'll find it ideal for wishing a friend a ‘happy birthday’ or cheering on their favourite sports team. It’s on the App Store now (no word on Android yet, unfortunately), and currently sits at an impressive 4.5 stars out of 5.

If the app seems familiar, it’s probably because you read our post about ChitChat, the Snapchat-inspired app which allows its users to send and receive automatically destructing voice messages to their friends. While there are a few obvious differences between the two apps (one is the audio equivalent of Snapchat, whereas the other is a sound-based amalgamation of Twitter and Vine), what they do prove is that plenty of start-ups are attempting to bring the sound of our voices to the forefront of the internet.

If any of these services really manage to take hold, it could start an online revolution. The art of conversation may not be dead just yet.

Emile is a postgrad from the University of Saint Mark and Saint John. He’s hoping to break into journalism or publishing, and won’t stop blogging until he’s managed it! Follow him @EmileAtSMF.

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SoBo Is Vine For Audio Reviewed by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 Rating: 5
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