During the pandemic when everyone is finding ways to kill boredom staying at home, I have been having fun with a voice-only social networking app called Listen. Its unique take on social networking really captures my interest, that is, you can only post stories and chat with others via voice notes. No pictures, no texts, nada. Just voice.
How the app works is rather simple. First, you listen to a stack of stories people have recorded, or you can record your own 30 second voice note and post it to the stack.
Contrary to popular social media, there is no such thing as a like button in Facebook or Instagram sense. If you like a recording someone has made, you are encouraged to send a reply, with a voice note of course. Then the app will create a private chatroom for both of you to continue conversation.
In the chatroom, the app forces a rule that voice notes have to be sent back and forth. If someone has replied to your chat, they can’t send another one until you reply back. They also sell “premium” chatroom upgrade which allows participants to send multiple voice notes without waiting for a reply and practically bypass the 30 seconds limitation. Although I personally prefer the default setting as this makes the conversation rolling, until someone decides to end the chat.
There are at least two reasons why I instantly became a fan of this app the first time I downloaded it. One is that by focusing the app around voices, it gives fresh air and a more personal feel to social networking in a sea of superficial pictures and one directional sharing that has plagued many social medias today. Secondly, the imposed 30 seconds limit and simplicity to review and re-record my own voice allows me to practice on my vocal and speaking skills.
One little downside is that every time you record and post a new voice story, it replaces the old story. In other words, users can only listen to your latest recording. Apparently they used to have an archive feature in earlier days that stores your old stories but then the feature was removed.
It’s a bummer that I couldn’t save my early recordings because some listeners seemed to enjoy them. Anyway from now on I thought I’d share my featured voice notes with readers on my blog too. These stories are mostly random and made for fun. Hope that you like it!