In this social and new media age, sound is everywhere, from downloading that wicked new tune to listening to a new podcast, and sharing it with the world through your phone. Yet, there are some platforms that can support the sound, but it doesn’t enable you to do anything else. This had been particularly the case for Twitter.
Yet, Twitter is about to change its tune on the subject, as it announced earlier this month the introduction of an audio card, which can allow you access to the audio in a new format, through the SoundCloud service as well as iTunes.
New sounds in new ways
The card, according to a blog post on Twitter’s web site, is available on Android and iOS. You are able to minimize the audio card screen whilst browsing on Twitter without the audio being interrupted.
Through SoundCloud, artists including David Guetta, Coldplay, Alt-J and George Ezra have been taking part in the new initiative, as well as other organisations including the BBC World Service.
I’m having such a gr9 time on tour I think we should do it all again in February. https://t.co/TyF4i2Q1P2
— George E Z R A (@george_ezra) October 20, 2014
— BBC World Service (@bbcworldservice) October 23, 2014
Guetta also introduced a new single through the social network.
— David Guetta (@davidguetta) October 16, 2014
The audio card was also enabled through iTunes, where the Foo Fighters linked their new single to.
This next one’s the first song on our new album! Listen here http://t.co/KVfURdxooT.
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) October 16, 2014
Twitter says on its blog it will be making the feature available to more artists and partners moving forward.
But what direction does this signal for Twitter, not just as a social network but as a source of media consumption?
A new multimedia experience
In a telephone interview, Amanda Brown, the COO of the London based audio distributor AudioBoom (formerly known as Audioboo), said this was a smart move for Twitter, and it allowed users to keep listening instead of stopping what they were doing previously.
“Twitter is trying to keep itself relevant in a very competitive market,” Brown said. “They are trying to keep their audience with them. When they implement ideas like this, it keeps you within the Twittersphere, while giving all the people who use Twitter a multimedia option.”
For AudioBoom’s part, Brown says it is currently in discussions with Twitter to have the service beta tested. With this, Brown says, there is an addition to the social network that benefits the user.
“You can consume audio whilst you consume the written word on Twitter,” Brown said. “Multimedia gives Twitter an extra browsing dimension.”
Indeed, Brown says, it gives Twitter an advantage over its competition, particularly Facebook, despite Facebook appealing to different segments of people and its different usages through its algorithm.
“Doing something like this makes Twitter a place to spend more time,” Brown said. “It gives it a slightly more competitive edge because you can consume written word and audio whilst browsing. Any kind of innovation on any platforms that can retain users is a good innovation.”
Moreover, in the long term, the audio card can reflect well on Twitter’s future.
“These kind of developments mean that Twitter is developing and innovating where they’re thinking about their users and bringing in new users and getting the next wave of users,” Brown said. “It’s important for any platform to keep in mind.”
It’s clear that Twitter is moving in a new direction of accessibility with the audio card, and with this card, the future for the sharing of audio is on a sound path.
What do you think of Twitter’s new audio card? Have your say in the comments section below.