As social media becomes noisier, more one-way and as a consequence less social (thank you marketers), it’s been refreshing to hang out on a new content platform that’s inhabited by real people interested in having genuine conversations.
I’ve been road-testing the app since launch and I like what I hear. I say “hear” because Anchor is an audio content platform. But it’s also social, and that’s what makes it pretty cool because no-one yet has managed to bring audio and social together in the one platform. Anchor has.
The folks behind Anchor describe it as “… true public radio, where any voice can join the conversation”.
Here’s the spiel:
Anchor is a free iPhone app that makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips to a global audience in seconds. Your listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations that were never before possible. When not recording, listen to authentic humor, knowledge, inspiration, and debate from Anchor’s global collective of personality.
The clip embedded below will give you a good feel for how Anchor works, and why it has the potential to be an effective content marketing tool. In the clip, best-selling author Gary Vaynerchuk publishes a riff, and then others jump into the conversation by recording their own individual responses.
Twitter in 2009
Personally, I reckon Anchor feels like Twitter did around 2008-2010 when the latter was inhabited by mostly curious individuals – interesting and interested folk who were genuinely keen to be involved in conversations around issues and topics relevant to them.
Currently I’m following real people on Anchor, not business accounts run by faceless people. And the spammers are yet to discover the platform too, which is a bonus.
Whether you riff on a topic or ask a question, it’s dead-easy for users of the platform to reply to you. The fact we get to hear people’s voices makes it all the more personal. It’s actually quite powerful.
Obviously Anchor is still in its infancy and it’s unlikely to ever be as big as Twitter, but I think the platform has merit and could be especially effective for business leaders, politicians, authors, subject matter experts etc. Businesses will struggle because it needs a real voice to be recorded in real-time, but savvy entrepreneurs who are interested in building community and adding value will be all over it.
N.B. Buffer has published a comprehensive how-to article here.
But here’s the thing:
People don’t need to be a registered user of Anchor to consume its audio content.
When you record a ‘wave’ (the Anchor equivalent of a tweet), an alert is automatically dispatched to your Twitter feed, so people can click on the link and listen via their web browser. Alternatively you can retweet the link later or share via your social media channels, thus increasing the reach of your audio content.
Anchor has a lot going for it. Audio can be a powerful medium when used effectively; to be able to record in real-time via your iPhone has great utility, but the fact others can join in the conversation with you and record their views, thoughts and perspectives in response to your initial recording – and to each other’s as well – is where the real power lies.
But perhaps the fact it’s NOT video (live-streaming) will make it easier to get folks on-board. Let’s face it, video live-streaming can be a bit intimidating, especially in the early days of trialling apps such as Periscope and MeVee. So if you like the idea of live-streaming but video is not your thing, Anchor might well be the medium for you!
- Using the new app Anchor, WNYC is experimenting with social audio
- Why I’m Excited About the New Audio Recording App Anchor
- Making Waves: A Guide to Getting Started With Social Audio on Anchor