Just-launched iPhone app Digisocial adds a new wrinkle to social photo sharing: audio.
Take Instagram’s photo sharing and social network, add Soundcloud’s audio streaming capabilities and you’ve got Digisocial, which made its international debut in the Apple App Store January 16.
It’s not quite video, but it’s more than photo. In fact, they even coined a term for what exactly it is you’ll be sharing when you download the app: voicephotos. With apps like Snapchat gaining popularity in the social photo sharing community and Facebook adding phone calls through its Messenger application, the heat is on.
So how does it work?
Digisocial allows you to snap or upload an image on your smartphone, then record some sound to pair with it. You could sign or laugh, cry or scream. So far, there seem to be a lot of cute kittens paired with both fake and real meowing.
Tap share, and you can blast your voicephoto into the socialverse via the usual Twitter and Facebook integration. And, to alleviate privacy concerns from the get-go, you can choose to share to the public, friends or only yourself.
“We wanted to provide an alternative, that from a technical and functional perspective was just as advanced, but they [users] don’t have to worry about being treated like a product,” said Marco Mereu, VP of Communications for Digisocial.
Do I own my content?
Mereu summarized the app’s concept succinctly: “It’s a digital, ad-free audio image sharing app,” he told me over the phone midway through a busy launch day.
The focus on privacy comes at a time when users and the media are just getting over Instagram’s terms and conditions kerfuffle.
What about down the line? They’re going to have to make money somehow
The East Coast startup is self-funded, so monetization is not an immediate priority, according to Mereu.
Instead, they’re concentrating on the user experience. That means an emphasis on fun, simple and engaging ways to share and connect.
Down the road, Mereu said, they’re thinking about layering enhanced functionalities like more storage, ways to share, features, or games.
Whatever happens, Digisocial says it will remain free and honor your privacy at all costs.
Who will use it?
So far, there are more cats and scantily clad women than anything.
However, the audio does add a very personal addition to what people are already sharing online. Plus, you can post audio comments.
It’s easy to see creative uses for the app, many of which have yet to be dreamed up.
For starters, I could see models, who have already established significant followings on Instagram, using the audio as another way to interact with fans.
Photographers and photojournalists could tell the story behind their images.
News organizations like NPR could use Digisocial as another platform for sharing the news. The push to record audio feature could be used to capture natural sound, breaking news, or even a full-fledged radio report. There is no limit to the length of audio that can be recorded, but there is no ability to upload an existing audio track — at least, not yet.
Check out my first post here and give the app a whirl yourself.