New social network focuses exclusively on audio

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Spotted: We’ve seen specialised social media networks that provide crime alerts, aid scientists in collaboration, and help users crowdsource therapy. Startup Riffr offers a platform that focuses purely on sound. Think of Twitter and Instagram, but instead of posting words or images, Riffr users post audio clips.

Users can publish both public and private ‘riffs’, and share them via text message, email, or on other social media sites. The riffs are streamed, and cannot be downloaded, allowing users to maintain some control of their content. The clips are between five seconds and three minutes long and can be customised with background images.

Riffr’s co-founder and CEO, Toufic Monarak, claims the idea is to bring authenticity and emotion back into social media. The Boston-based company is self-funded and currently has a few thousand users. It also plans on releasing a premium model, which could provide broadcasters like the BBC and NPR with a new way to publish content.

Takeaway: In a world already crowded with social network sites, the idea of audio-based social media as the next frontier may be catching on. Springwise recently highlighted Koo, a short-form podcast app that lets users share up to one minute of audio with friends and followers. Traditional social media platforms have not made it easy to share audio, which has forced many content providers to convert audio files into video in order to post audio content. The problem here is that the default setting on most users’ feeds has the audio muted, so many of these posts go unheard. But as audio-based platforms like Riffr grow their user base, a more receptive audience is likely to emerge for organizations looking to promote audio content on social media.

Contact: [email protected]

Company founded in: 2018

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