Social media has come so far over the last few years and continues to grow bigger and better for us consumer. Recently we have started to see a boom in the overall use of social audio in our everyday lives whether it be through general communication or through schooling, but in the business world as well. This has become quite prominent due to the facts of the world coming to what felt like a complete stop because of a global pandemic back in 2020. Because of the issues that were being faced due to the pandemic, everyone needed to find a better way to communicate with each other what better way for people to get into contact with each other than Social Audio sites.
The site that was leading the overall charge when the pandemic broke out was Zoom. Zoom was a great site because it allowed for a large group of people ranging from 100 to 1000 people depending on the level of access the meeting leader had. Zoom allowed for companies to get their employees back to work while mitigating the risk of anyone becoming ill and spreading the virus amongst each other. Now although it was seeing the most use of businesses for work purposes, people still took use of it to hold different sorts of get togethers to communicate amongst each other’s for reasons even out of work.
Because everyone was held up in their homes, it was difficult for people to get the social interaction amongst other people without being behind a screen through text so many would take their conversations to social audio sites that allowed for families or friends to meet and have conversations with the ability to see and hear each other. People wanted to be able to see and talk to one another more and more and although the pandemic was a horrible thing to deal with, I think this allowed for people to want to be more active and outgoing with one another because of the lockdowns. For me personally, I felt this way because I had not truly appreciated seeing friends and family enough until being stuck at home and being told not to go and hangout with anyone to prevent someone from becoming ill. When it came to hanging out and talking with friends however I would say those who had a little easier time with things were those who played video games.
Video games have always been a great way for people to interact with each other, and it doesn’t matter what kind of game you played. Now although games that are meant to be multiplayer are where you could interact with your friends the most, most of the time gamers could simply be seldom with playing anything and just chatting with their friends. It usually was an important thing for you and your friends to own the same game consoles whether it was a PlayStation, Xbox, or a gaming computer. This is because most multiplayer games had dedicated servers to those specific consoles, and it was also the only way you could join audio “Party’s” as they are called. However, many games have started to introduce “cross play” servers which to put simply is where all these different consoles could play with each other on a server. Now although they were now able to play together, they still did not have the ability to join each other for “Party” chats or things like that so people needed to find a place to meet so that they could talk amongst each other, and that is where Discord comes in.
Discord is a social site that was designed for gamers who played on gaming computers to meet up in servers to although for communication through audio or text. And although it was designed for the mere purpose of talking with friends, it has evolved into so much more and has allowed businesses, content creators, and organizations to be more involved with their audiences. For example, I am in a Discord server as a fan of an Esports organization called 100Thieves. This server is setup for the purpose of deeper interaction with fans of the organization to keep people updated on all aspects of content, apparel, events, etc.
Now not only does it allow for fans to stay up to date with everything going on within the organization, but it allows for fans to interact with each other and meet people with similar interests as one another. It is great because it allows for people to meet up and join voice chats and talk about anything to get to know more people or even play games together. It is also a great way for the organization to gain more feedback and interaction from the fans as they can get more insight on way people want to see from them for future content or even apparel. I think more brands and companies especially in the gaming industry would find a lot more success if they were willing use a Discord Server like how 100Thieves does to continuously grow their brand.
Messenger Rooms and Twitter Spaces
Now with the success of things like Discord and Zoom, we have started to see the introduction of social audio on other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In 2020 Facebook and Twitter hopped on the trend of offering Social Audio abilities to their users. For Facebook it was done through Messenger Rooms and for Twitter it was done through Twitter Spaces. I think these are great introductions on these social media platforms because it allows for users to get more involved with each other, and if used appropriately by brands it could be like how Discord is used to gather helpful information and drive-up customer interaction.
Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse
Twitter Spaces and Clubhouse are very similar social audio features that offer accessibility to their users to hop into groups and are free to join any active group to be involved in the communication amongst the group. These social audio features allows for users to participate different ways such as Clubhouse having a way to engage in the conversation through hand raising while Twitter Spaces allows for the users to gain better insight through the conversation through the use of auto-captions and reactions through emoji. The differences between Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces can be seen through the accessibility and the as Twitter Spaces was designed for anyone and everyone to join, while Clubhouse was setup to be a invite to group audio group. These features are great to have and are fantastic for people and users to partake in and use and are great ways for people to discuss things they enjoy or like. Having business use these features amongst their followers would be a nice ability for company’s to be more involved with their following to provide information for their users.
I do believe that social audio will be something that continues to find success in the future and will be a way in which brands can reach out and interact with their customers on a deeper level. The biggest thing now is to make sure that users understand how to use these features and make it simple to use. Allowing for businesses to setup scheduled events for different demographics of users would be a great way as well to allow for a better outreach. Having active conversations that allow for customers and people to provide feedback to brands will allow for all parties to gain insight for better results.