MCE Trendspotting: Audio-based Social Apps

September 21, 2021 by lmiller
Filed in: News Tag:

As the landscape of social networking continues to evolve, a new category of audio-based models has come to the forefront. The primary use case for these is networking and discussions, where individuals can actually take part in real-time conversations around specific and general topics.

Here are a few of the emerging platforms in the space:

Clubhouse – Clubhouse, which started as an elusive invite-only app, is now open to anyone to sign up. As of July 2021, there were more than 600,000 registered users. Clubhouse can be used to “bump into” people, listen in and share thoughts on discussions, or host a room of your own. Read more: https://mashable.com/article/what-is-clubhouse-app

Photo courtesy of joinclubhouse.com

Discord – Discord has been around since 2015, where it was typically more popular in the gaming community. Discord has recently expanded beyond that community and has more than 140 million monthly active users as of the end of 2020. Users can participate in topic-based channels, connect with friends and peers, and start or join moderated-based communities. Read more: https://mashable.com/article/what-is-discord

Photo courtesy of Discord.com

Twitter Spaces – Twitter Spaces is a new feature of Twitter’s iOS and Android versions, where users can have live audio conversations. These spaces are public, with up to 13 speakers who can participate in the live discussion. Read more: https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/spaces

  • Photo courtesy of Twitter.com

As an IEEE Conference Organizer, how can these apps help you? Think of these conversations as an extension of your event and your topics. These spaces allow you and your speakers to reinforce their expertise in these subjects, while also engaging users outside of the typical audience. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a pre-event audio discussion with a blend of conference participants in a general subject area. For example, set up a room to talk about the conference theme, and invite a few committee members and/or speakers to take part in the conversation.
  • Create a space for post-event discussions. Especially in the virtual world, people are craving connection. Envision this opportunity as the coffee break after your plenary speaker, or the walk from one room to another, and all of the conversations your attendees have as they digest what they heard.
  • Create an open space for ongoing dialogue. Invite your members or community to a subscribe to an open channel where they can pop in and network with others.

Audio-based social apps are an amazing way to create connections within your community. Use this opportunity for two-way engagement. Encourage others to chat and discuss, while providing the forum to bring them together.

Do you have any experience with audio-based social apps? Share your thoughts or tips in the comments below!

This article was written by:
Lea Provost
Sr. Program Manager, Audience Development Strategy Services
IEEE Meetings, Conferences & Events