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Show HN: An audio only social network (currentlyapp.io)
211 points by dl_terp on Jan 10, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 171 comments

Couple things:

1. The sexual abuse story is unrelated to your app and feels like you're trying to guilt the customer into using it. The best way to support victims would be to donate directly to the NGO not use your app, and therefore this story seems like a disingenuous marketing strategy.

2. The problem with audio only social network is there's no way to "skim" things. There's no guarantee that the audio story a user clicks on will be interesting, and by the time the user figures out its not, you've just wasted 60s of his life and he's angry and wants to delete your app.

So for #2, I think that this is where you need to be selective on who you follow. It won't be a Facebook where you have hundreds of people. Rather more like 15 or 20 people you really care about and like their stories. I think that's the niche that an audio only social network could fill.

So... podcasting but with shittier content?

In the same way that Tumblr is like blogging but with shittier content, or YouTube is like cinema production but with shittier content

I just started clapping when I read this. Thank you ovibos for a good Tuesday night chuckle. :)


Uncanny - I just whipped this up: https://getvoicecapsule.com

Not a social network, but private audio, selective sharing, etc.

I think you could have skimming if people could mark the "moment" (20% into the content) that qualifies the content? And you could scroll through kind of like when you're flipping through radio stations.

Yeh like marking the "stinger" to play first as a hook. Doesn't Hello Internet do something like that immediately before the intro jingle and content starts.

We skim conversations at parties. I think we can technologically enable this cognitive faculty.

Just because we do it in one particular case does not mean we are good at it, or that it is a better and viable way of operating. I, for one, am very bad at it at parties and all those different conversations drive me insane. Well OK, not literally insane, but they make me feel bad. Because I cannot deal with those multiple audio streams. I get distracted by the noise (leading to unable to follow), and very from the environment nervous.

I don't think its better either, and I believe this is why we see audio as addition to written text (it is called 'podcast' because of Apple marketing w/iPod). In other words, the text is read and from there it is being decided if we follow up with more text, audio, or video. Video is an exception because the eyes are used there as well.

However it is important to recognise audio-only use cases. Audio only feedback may work in some situations e.g. during sports/fitness, or driving a car (radio). I haven't been able to come up with additional examples though.

Another problem might be that you can't use this at work without disturbing coworkers, or wearing a headphone.

...you can't listen to music at work without wearing headphones either. This has hardly put a dent in the popularity of music.

Their premium accounts come with speech-to-text.

Then why use it in the first place? The entire point is that it's audio driven :P

Man, while I admire your story, this is not how you advertise your app.

"I'm building this because I want to fight sex trafficking"?? It just confuses potential users what the hell this app is for. I actually read the whole story, it's a good story, but in the end i was left puzzled (Is this app for reporting sex traffickers to the authorities in audio messages?) AND kind of annoyed that I spent the time reading the whole thing thinking that it would describe what the app is for.

Thanks for this feedback. I'll switch which of the 2 stories shows up at the front (as opposed to which one you must click on in order to read).

Sorry for the unnecessary frustration!

> I'll switch which of the 2 stories shows up at the front

Good call. Maybe back off a little more than that, even. So I'm reading your page and liking what I see. I would like to know more. Here's a thing that might have more information, so I click it. Now I'm reading a surprisingly affecting comic about a kid who's been sexually abused and the fight against sex slavery. My mental and emotional associations with your brand are suddenly a great deal more complex, and quite a bit darker, than they were. Your app suddenly has a steeper hill to climb toward making me happy enough to feel that using it is worth my while. If it fails to do so, and I don't use it, your efforts toward your honorable cause are impaired thereby. Is telling me about it really as important as maybe getting me to contribute to it in a material way?

Don't get me wrong. I like why you're doing what you're doing. But maybe "not what you want to lead with" understates the case on that one just a hair, is what I'm trying to get across here.

may I ask if others feel this way? My sharing this is because I think it's an important part of the story and why we created Currently, but I don't want it to have a "dark aura" around the app by any means.

Does anyone else agree with the above sentiment?

Honestly, it was a bit jarring to read a comic portraying you as some kind of 'anti-rape hero' at the bottom of a page about a weird app.

You didn't even tell us what happened to your friend! It seemed like you were just using her story to aggrandize yourself. What happened to her? How would she feel if she read this comic? Is she getting a slice of this pie too?

It just seemed kind of exploitative and in comic form...

It's also a very weird narrative.

If he is really so passionate about fighting sex trafficking, he should be building something that solves that problem, not just another social networking app and using that story to get attention.

I finished reading the cartoon and was like "wtf did i just read?" It felt like one of those viagra ad spam schemes you find in various comment sections on the internet where the commenter starts out writing something that sounds very relevant to the story, and in the end somehow segues the narrative into "buy viagra and cialis here https://blahblah"

She is doing well and gave me permission to share her story and this comic.

Thanks for the feedback, I'm definitely taking everything into consideration as far as where that comic should go

I don't feel a "dark aura", but I do feel this story is irrelevant to your product's marketing page. I'd put this story away (maybe in a blog post) from newcomers who only want to figure out what's the app can do for them, not for you.

I agree, I think the story definitely belongs in a blog post. It's a good story, and you're building the company for a good cause, but it's not what you should put on your front page.

+1. I also feel this should belong to a blog post about the creator(s)/behind the scenes than on the front page showcasing your work. It looks like asking for sympathy votes that way.

Hey, I don't disagree that it's important. But a first impression is a delicate time. I mean, I assume that's not the story you lead with when you meet someone socially, say in a bar. That isn't the worst model to use here. Get too serious too fast and you're liable to put some people off, is all I'm saying.

On the other hand, I'm too old and not well enough socially connected to be your likely target market, and it's been a hell of a long day. I could be making more of this than it merits; take it for whatever you find it to be worth.

It might be creating a suggestion that will limit how people use the social network. Like, before reading the story someone might have thought it would be a good place to stream audio updates on concerts and parties happening around their city, but after reading they might feel that posting something lighthearted would be out of place or inappropriate. Definitely share the story, but consider how putting it on the home page will influence the type of content that people will create.

I don't connect the "darkness" of the story to the app, no. I do agree that it is not a typical place to put a story like this, and I wonder how the friend feels about having what happened to her used in "your" story of starting a business. Can't really shake the feeling, because of its location, that the story is there to get me to try the app, which seems shifty. Worked, though, and I'm glad I read it since I wasn't aware of the charity.

My friend gave me full permission to use this story, but after seeing all of the feedback, I'm thinking of putting it into an FAQ.

Would you consider that a good spot for it?

Is the question frequently asked? Unless it is, which seems uncertain, I'd suggest it might be better placed on an "About Us" page, as others here have suggested, with the FAQ reserved for questions more directly relevant to users of the app.

It's tricky, after I googled you and your other projects like 7DollarYear I understand a bit more about why you have this up front.

But I agree with other commenters that bringing up this whole story on a page that is normally reserved to try and sell your product feels a bit exploitative, takes us through a dark emotional journey and we don't even learn about the end of your friend's story (so she feels like a prop)

Why not keep this in an "about us" page that explains more about the philanthropic model behind the company? For example, Salesforce.com follows the 1/1/1 model and Marc is super committed to giving being ingrained in the company culture. But you would never know by looking at their frontpage, you have to dig deeper into it to find out [0]

[0]: http://www.salesforce.org/pledge-1/

An About Us page is a great idea! Thanks! I'm thinking either that or an FAQ answering some of the questions we've gotten through Hacker News.

Also, I feel very exposed now that you know about the 7DollarYear :P

Yeah. It's an important story and message, but it's not something you want on the homepage. That should be at least one more click deep. That should be its own page, maybe linked in the FAQ or something. I wouldn't have said "dark aura" but I'm struggling to come up with a better description.

How about association of the app's signifiers, especially the logo, with unpleasant emotional overtones? It's harder than necessary to reach most markets when you've inadvertently tied your brand to thoughts of sexual abuse and slavery. That seems like something you don't want to risk doing until potential and actual users have had time to build positive associations of their own first.

It's an app, not a charity. That back story certainly doesn't make me want to try the app.

I feel this way. It feels exploitative to me. This would fit better as a blog post after the product has gained a user base. It is definitely less likely to make me want to use it.

I first saw this after you switched the default. My initial reaction was very positive, then the other page took something away from it.

For me I think it's a case of intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation. The first page sounded like you were doing the app because it was a cool idea that will make people's lives better so you wanted to see it turn real. That's easy to get on board with.

Then the second page says "and I'm doing it all because I want to make a lot of money." Which you plan to use for a great purpose, but it still makes the app itself less appealing, because it emphasizes that you're not doing the app for its own sake.

The story is a good one, I just think you should link it less prominently and frame it as "x% of profits go to X and here's why," rather than "here's why I built the app."

If there's no legal framework enforcing the donations, I'd keep it very unobtrusive for now, so it doesn't seem like you're using an unenforceable promise as a selling point. Later you'll have a donation history you can talk about.

This is great feedback, thanks! I'm thinking of putting it into an FAQ page, would that work for you?

My worry is that if I put it into a blog post, eventually no one will see it due to the short term nature of blog post discovery.

That seems all right. Possibly the "about us" idea is even better.

I just think it was ridiculous. "I want to be a tech billionare so I can help sexual abuse victims! Give me your money!".

A agree with it.

I think a more subtle way to go about this would be to say:

> We donate x% of our profits to Exodus Road. To find out more about who they are, and what this means to us, click HERE

I feel this way too, I would just remove this story or replace it with how you got the idea of making this app

completely agree. I had the same reaction.

Here in germany I have never seen anyone using the audio feature of their instant messenger until I moved to Berlin. I now see people in the subway using WhatsApp to just send voice messages back and fourth, all the time. So as a vim-user-kind-of-guy, I don't get it - but there seems to be a demand for this kind of communication. Oh, right - and there is snapchat. Also don't get it. Maybe I'm just getting old...

So my girlfriend uses this quite often (she's German). She says she likes it because you can reasonably quickly "make your statement" and then wait for a reply, without the usual niceties that make a conversation longer (but you feel like you have to do). If she calls someone, she has to spend at least 10 minutes chatting. If she uses the WhatsApp voice message feature, she can send a one-minute message and be in control of her time.

Unfortunately the other person has to spend exactly one minute listening. Compare that to using the voice-to-text button of the keyboard (any Android phone AFAIK, probably iOS too). One minute to dictate, maybe another one to fix mistakes (maybe not) and 15 seconds to read. It is being polite to the recipient.

Luckily no friends of mine are using voice messages in 1-1 chats with me. I never listen to those messages in group chats.

I won't use a voice only or video only social network exactly for the same reason. Text and pictures are ok because they are quick to skim through.

Or you might be one of those who has realized the meaning behind the famous quote "What is written without effort, is read without pleasure".

Apply it in the context of social interaction, and you can immediately see that social networks are making people more antisocial. But don't worry, someone here will come and give you numerous studies citing why that isn't the case.

Anecdotally, though, you know this is true. You probably know of that old autistic person who was never diagnosed and somehow managed to live a higher quality life than the current diagnosed generation. You probably know of elders who actually had a much higher quality of life after they lost mobility because, you know, people actually stopped by to talk to them occasionally. You probably know of a cheery, older handicapped person who seemed to have had nothing going for them other than people who just genuinely cared about them - probably because the time others spent with them was not optimized for self-actualization.

There's a cultural component as well. In Japan, for instance, it's considered rude to speak too loudly in public places. So the behavior there is to send text messages to each other instead of make phone calls. This may be the same for other cultures too.

> I now see people in the subway using WhatsApp to just send voice messages back and fourth, all the time.

This is popular in Buenos Aires as well.

Popular in Israel too (no subway here tho ;P)

Don't worry, I'm young and I still don't get it except as a novelty.

One of the original things for me is the combination of "low barrier to entry" (time between having the idea/story and getting it out there) vs. "value of entry"

These days, text based content is very low on "value" (thus why we scroll past many text heavy things on current social media) but video is very high on "barrier to entry" as most people have to record quite a few times, make sure they look good, etc.

My goal was to use audio to make it quick to get ideas/stories up there, but that people would see them as higher value (for example, I can hear the southern twang from some of my old college friends)

So I'd personally fight the word "novelty" but I might be a bit biased ;)

AFAIK, current social media (direct messaging may be a little different) perceived value is roughly video > still image > text >> audio.

AFAICT, the fact that it's not visually skimmable seems to be the reason audio is far behind.

Skimmable. That could be really important given attention spans. Funny thing is reading your comment made me think back to radio. It was possibly second thing to be skimmable. You just keep changing channels listening a few seconds until you hit something interesting. Many people do the same thing with current stations in their car for discovery of interesting & popular content. It would seem an audio, social network could similarly be skimmable if people could tune across channels like that with ease. Would have to be fast with no wait time just like a knob.

I don't know if this does it or the author has looked into the concept. Just jumped out at me when I read your comment as I almost never listen to radio but was skimming it past, two days just to see what caught my attention.

I am seeing this phenomenon as well. People explain to me that this is shorter than typing yet less obtrusive than talking. Strange times!

Yep - I do this all the time, where polite (not on the bus, for example). I'm often having serious conversations over text and don't want to break the cadence, but also walking briskly downtown where typing 120 words would significantly slow me down. The glitches in voice-to-text are tolerable and worth the speed gain.

They're referring to voice to... voice, i.e. small recorded messages, not voice-to-text. It's a feature of whatsapp and assumedly other messengers.

As a counterpoint of sorts: I have no idea how hard it is to type stuff in Asian languages but voice chat messages seem to be very popular in many parts of Asia (specifically China with WeChat).

Voice messages are massive everywhere in Asia though, even in places where they mostly use latin alphabets or English like Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines ...

Typing Chinese is about as easy as typing English. Voice messages are extremely popular in China, are they not as popular in the US in your experience?

What? You built an app so you could ‘rescue’ people from prostitution because your friend was sexually abused at home? I don’t see the connection.

If you want to help prostitutes then listen to them, and support decriminalisation, not ‘rescue’.

What you do with any profits are not my business, but this is a real turn off. Just leave it out.

Not to be a jerk, but as a video guy, this promo video needs some work.

1. The Premiere Pro "Morph Cut" doesn't really work that well and can easily be spotted. See :38 for an example.

Morph Cut Overview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOvDwiE0qSo

2. The tracking/compositing of the app on the phone screen is very crude. :59

3. The audio needs a lot of work. I'm on a laptop with no headphones, and I hear the bad ADR work. "Your stories" at 1:28 stands out the most.

Thanks for the feedback! We're bootstrapping over here so we did the best with what we had available. If you know of anyone who can help clean this up (or who makes amazing videos at an affordable price) please let me know :)

On a related note I was expecting to see you guys using the app in the video, it would be nice to see examples of real life use of it, Im not totally sure how/if I would use it

Would you prefer this video instead? It's more serious which is why I didn't use it.


Built something very similar for the web using widgets back in 2006-7, along the time twitter was taking off. iPhones were just coming on the scene and there was no app ecosystem yet so we built one of the most advanced flash widgets ever. It worked amazingly well, but we just couldn't get the traction needed at the time. Overall, i think the timing was off. I've seen many similar ideas over the years ,but yours is the closest to our original. I have years of thinking about this type of service under my belt so if you want to chat about some of the ideas we implemented beyond what you have now, let me know.

I'd absolutely love to! Darren@currentlyapp.io is my email. I appreciate the offer

This is awesome. Although the Android app has some rough edges it gives off a very personal and connecting vibe. I think the shades of blue and green you chose feel too cold for what the platform is supposed to be, the app feels very cold initially... but then this amazing thing happened: I started to listen to the Ocean. The Ocean to me feels like something from the movie "Her" (2013): these are other peoples stories and lives I'm listening to, and that is both really odd and really cool. It feels very personal, and I think this might be exactly what many people are missing nowadays: just taking 5 minutes out of your day to empathize with others, and since it's audio only you could do that while in the car, or while working, or while cleaning your house. I haven't yet tried this with family or close friends, and I think it might feel too personal at that point. Then again, I'm not that socially capable, so that might be just me. Perhaps it takes some getting used to.

As I said before though, there are some rough edges. The written text in the app feels... unprofessional, which might not be a bad thing necessarily. I think you tried to find a light tone to connect with users, but you haven't yet succeeded in striking that light hearted balance between connecting with your users and talking with the confidence of a business. The colors look somewhat cold for what feels like a very warm app. And on the tech-side there could be some improvements, like detecting 'empty' waves: apparently people happen to accidently send out a wave without any meaningful sound whatsoever into the world, and I imagine detecting that is something that could be done automatically. By the way, sound quality is okay, but make sure you don't neglect it. This idea will only work if you forget that you're listening through a device, if it's anything like a phone call I think that might be to robotic.

Something I just thought of: how do you plan to tackle the language barrier? Is the Ocean going to consist of English-only spoken text, or are you going to tag waves with a language and filter based on what the user is using?

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm asking the developers about automatically removing blank waves. That seems like a big win. Otherwise we might have to have it as an option under "report" and rely on the community (at least initially) to mark a blank wave as blank.

As for the language barrier. Yes, we're going to be english only to begin with, then I think we'll make versions for other languages.

I'm trying to think of the best way to simply message this right now. Let me know if you have any great ideas.

This seems like a much saner social network.

Also, the comics at the end of the page are great, the drawings, the narrative, everything.

thank you :) those were very difficult to get created.

Oh, it wasn't you?

Thoughts, mapping, idea, verbiage: all me

Actual design work: no way in heck I could ever make something that looks that good ;)

watching that promo video the value proposition is you get to hear about all the dick moves your friends are pulling on each other.

edit- read the comic, I'm even more confused.

Well, there's one comic that is his motivations for building the app, which while admirable, but I'm not sure if appealing to my pathos makes me want to use the app any more than I would have otherwise. The other comic is better directed at why I/you might want to use it.

So in your opinion, I should make the "What is Currently" the front one, and the "Why I Built It" one as the background/secondary?

Does anyone else have thoughts on this?

Absolutely. I really enjoyed the "Why I Built Currently" but it's a bit heavy and overwhelming for someone's first impression of a social network. For some it might even give the wrong impression about the app -- I initially thought there was going to be some tie-in in the app itself to help report sexual abuse.

I think the most appropriate place for this kind of story would be your first blog post because it's more about humanizing you and the developers more than it's about the product itself. However, since it's important to you I don't think there's anything wrong with keeping it on the home page so more people can see it.

Nah it has flair. I find it charming, and the comic about sexual trafficking really got me. Keep it up!

I'm thinking I'm going to change it, because some others have pointed out that, if you come at the comic thinking you're going to get the reason behind the app itself, it's misleading. But I'll keep it as the secondary one you can click on :)

Thanks for the great feedback guys! You all rock! As I've said before, tshirts all around! (to those who want them and use the app) ;)


ya my feedback isn't about the app itself so much as how the site undermines itself at every turn.

the more relatable comic is buried under a tab. it derides the mess that is social media but then says "Does your best story have what it takes?" with a share link to Facebook.

it boxes you into a minute with the reason being that otherwise it would turn into a "snooze fest" while also saying the point of the app is to have a more personal connection to distant friends (was that comic of two friends leisurely chatting over a fence meant to imply these are rapid conversations? I got the opposite impression). based on that the phone dialer is what you should be reaching for to stop making excuses and stay intimate with the people you care about.

that said I don't mean to be negative just to point out that there is a flurry of mixed messages here in regard to use cases for the app. I get the impression they're not settled on the problem their solving. my feedback is only meant to point that out, not discourage.

> that said I don't mean to be negative just to point out that there is a flurry of mixed messages here in regard to use cases for the app. I get the impression they're not settled on the problem their solving.

I think this is the biggest takeaway. It's really difficult to nail messaging down as founders. You're just too damn close to the product and you have all these stories you want to tell, so the default is to tell all of them, usually getting "too cute" along the way. I'd push these guys to really focus on concise, clear explanation of what this product is (how it works, why you should try it). Everything else - like the motivations behind building it - should be secondary. Within 3-5 seconds of visiting the homepage I should know what this thing does.

Yes, I was also confused by what that video was meant to tell me, the viewer. It seemed like you guys got in a room, watched the Dollar Shave Club video, and tried to figure out how to "do something like that" while also trying out any plausible way to get a girl in a tank top on there. All of that distracted me from whatever benefits / values the video might have intended to promote. Right from the get-go I felt lost at the stapler-in-jello thing. I'd actually make an argument that 90% of the time a regular (non-comedian) person tells me a story about something funny/interesting/"crazy" that happened it falls wildly short because "you had to be there."

It's called Ham Radio. ;)

When my Ham buddy passed away two years ago, I was unable to hear our local club's last call discussion for him. I wasn't able to get to a radio at the time. I wish someone had been willing to step up with some technology and at the very least, record it.

Point being, sometimes more modern technology can be better than the old stuff. If he had instead had social circles interested in a more modern platform, then maybe I could have been a part of it. I'm all for people like the OP here trying to innovate in the audio space. I think the medium has a lot to offer.

You could have used AllStar Link or EchoLink to connect to your club's net via the internet or mobile device.

Also, many clubs record their nets and post the archives online. (Mine does.)

[1] https://www.allstarlink.org/ [2] http://echolink.org/

thanks for the positive feedback! Let me know if there is anything you think we should add as we start building 2.0 :)

Remember when people used to visit the people they care to listen to, and would actually sit down, and physically listen to them? But now our lives are too busy and filled with non-stop schedules so we just don't have time anymore. And even if we did have time, we'd feel like we were wasting time. We're missing something vital in life with all this technology running it for us. I think this app is inspired by the developers realizing we need that basic human need, but without fully realizing what it is. So they came up with a way to sort of do the exact same thing, but asynchronously, and as a social media app.

Many of the people I care to listen to live far enough away from me that to 'actually sit down, and physically listen to them' is a multi-day endeavor.

exactly. This isn't to replace real friendships / community, but to help you stay connected with those you can't speak with / visit regularly

Not to mention either expensive (whether in terms of fuel for private transportation or fare for public/quasi-private transportation), hazardous (hitchhiking, "on a freight train leaving town / not knowin' where I'm bound", etc.), or way more than a multi-day endeavor (walking/bicycling/etc.).

Reminds me of a very cool paper I heard about at ACM Dev 2014.

"A Mobile Application for Interactive Voice Forums:Design and Pilot Deployment in Rural India"


Researchers built a landline/cellphone based social network. It could be especially useful for rural areas with low literacy rate.

The idea of an audio-only social network got me clicking. I was imagining something music-based. But, IMHO, having read about it on your site, I am much less interested.

Yeah, we're going after the "stories" angle right now, but if we ever pivot I'll let you know ;)

Maybe I'm wrong, these are just my observations:

1. Millennials prefer text to voice. My millennial friends don't answer phone calls, but promptly reply to texts 2. Voice is an older generation mainstay. But their affinity to social networks is low.

In my estimate, the target audience is rather small in ℅. However, since the planet has 2B smartphone users, there might be a play.

I think #1 can easily be fixed with automated transcription on all audio messages.

If you're just going to transcribe it, why not just use Siri/etc in the first place?

This is something I would definitely be interested in, but like some others I am instinctively put off by the back story. There is no doubt it is an important story, but its role here, especially on a product homepage, feels very ambiguous. If this was a blog post somewhere else talking about your motivation then sure but here it definitely feels like marketing.

There used to be a social network called Audioboo that did just this. It was really cool, and in the early days of smartphones it was really novel to hear from people.

Now it's just a podcasting platform, but I'll definitely be trying this out because I miss the old days...

EDIT: The 'boos' are still online, you just need to know the URLs http://boos.audioboo.fm/attachments/1543/Recording.mp3

I had finally listened to my last voice mail some time ago. What's old is new again.

I was immediately reminded of the fiction podcast LifeAfter (or lif-e.af/ter as they like to style it, making it hard to search for). An audio-only social network is a major plot device, though obviously slightly contrived to give them an excuse for most of the action to happen verbally to make a good podcast. https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lifeafter/id1045990056?m... Even your marketing is similar to that in the show.

problem.. most people aren't good story tellers.. people are ok decent of at least taking pictures of something to create a story without words.. hence snapchat and instagram stories.

Yeah, I've thought about that. But I'm hoping on two things. First, that if you are just sharing it across friends, it doesn't matter the "skill level" of the sharer. Second, that there will be enough value even if you're just a listener, getting to listen to a personal podcast of your friends' stories. But this hinges on there being enough sharers in the first place, not all just listeners.

I appreciate the thought here!

Could this be further segmented into types of audio?

For instance, have a social network specifically for user-generated/recorded farts?

Rank them in multiple dimensions (geolocation, time, genre)?


I've thought about a tagging system for topic, but to begin we're trying to keep everything as streamlined as possible (shortest amount of time between creating the story and having it out there).

Ah, I see.

I was thinking more along the lines of re-branding the same app multiple times for different genres.

I like the tag concept.

This is one of the best app landing pages I've seen in a long time. Though I have to admit I haven't even watched the video at the top, the rest of the page gets straight to the point clearly explaining and demonstrating the app, and the comics at the end are wonderful.

Also, I can't believe I haven't seen this social network idea executed before. Seems at least like one worth exploring.

Well, WeChat supported group chat with Audio over a decade ago. It wasn't exactly a "follow" model but you could be apart of multiple groups with varying members and post audio messages, GPS coordinates (eg when meeting up), text, video, etc.

You just made my day! We put a lot of work into that landing page.

Please let me know if there is anything you think we should add to 2.0, and please download the app and try us out. Appreciate you!

I’ve wanted to build something like this for a while, down to the 1-minute length restriction and follow/reply interaction. (And to go with it, a small low-power smartphone without a screen!) The main thing that stopped me was that I was working at Facebook when I came up with it.

However, I probably won’t be using this for one reason: waves are ephemeral, deleted from their servers after a week.

May I ask why having the waves deleted after a week is such a disappointment to you? (And if anyone else thinks the same?) I'd love to know your thoughts / reasonings behind this statement.

I screenshot and save just about every Snapchat between my girlfriend and I. A lot of them are great pictures of our dogs, memories from vacations, a lot of junk but sentimental junk. At least have a feature to save your own waves, then maybe something enabled to allow your friends to save your waves. Maybe your friend tells a great story, you save it, they pass away, what a great memory to have of someone.

Edit: Just downloaded it and see that you can save waves. Nice.

Yes, right now you can save a wave and it'll stay for I think 6 months, but I'm talking to my devs to see if we can get it to save to the users phone for the long term (not limited). We'll see what happens with that.

this is snapchat for audio (longer decay timeline) - to coin a "X for Y" - nothing wrong with it and actually quite liberating.

Right, it’s not bad, just not what I want to use—what I had in mind was more like Twitter for audio, which this could be if not for that feature.

I'm sorry, not following. If not for what feature?

I think he means if not for the ephemerality of the waves. If they were persistent, you could go back and "catch up" on conversations you missed before and gain context. It's like an archive for a podcast. This would be a huge win

Also is there an auto advance feature if you have a queue built up?

Essentially everything is run from a queue. It's either the public queue (called the Ocean) which runs from most popular on down, or it is the private queue (called the Stream) which runs from oldest to newest. And yes, it should auto-advance when you reach the end of one wave, going straight into the other. Am I understanding your question correctly?

The landing page is really great, and the effort shows, the concept will also work for a number of people.

However, this is not for me as I find audio intrusive, where I would either annoy people around me to record/listen to something, or fetch earphones every time.

Even if it is not for me, I'm sure that there are a lot of people who would enjoy this and put it to good use. Good luck!

I greatly appreciate it! If you know anyone specific who would enjoy it, please feel free to send them to us ;)

Sounds nice - hope I don't get stuck in a recording loop to get it just right - like the perfect answering machine message

As of now (maybe in 2.0) we actually don't have a way for you to listen to your wave before you submit it in order to fight this "perfection anxiety". We want to try to be organic in this hyper filtered / photoshopped world as possible. It bothers some people but seems to be freeing to others :)

Next to the comments made by other users, it seems like the app just uploaded my address book without explicitly asking me. This was a really scary situation and resulted in an instant uninstall to hopefully stop it from uploading.

Not the way to handle this.

Were you on android or iOS, I was pretty sure it requested access for both, but I'll look into it for sure!

Reminds me of party lines and voice bulletin boards, perhaps created without awareness of them?

I haven't heard of these, (so you're right, created without awareness of them ;)

Could you send over some links so I could get further ideas and have a better understanding of the competitive landscape?


At this point, they're historical rather than part of the current competitive landscape, but in their time they were vibrant communities. Studying them is useful much as studying IRC would be useful for someone creating something like Slack.

I assume he means Party Lines as in the phone system: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_line_(telephony)


Dude, remove the rape shit from the web site for a mobile app. Why you would think putting that stuff up there was a good idea is beyond me.

I am guessing you put a lot of effort into that comic and feel bad discarding it, but just do it. Sunk cost.

After discovering Discord and having a large group of Facebook friends who are on the other side of the country or out of the country, I'm intrigued... but that could just be the intriginol I took this morning.

I'd love for you to try it out and let me know how it goes. My personal email is Darren@CurrentlyApp.io

Hey, Just trying out your app, is there a place you would prefer your feedback and bug reports or would you prefer to still use the email mentioned in the play store?

please use the email mentioned in the play store, or send them to me directly at darren@currentlyapp.io

I watched the video. Are they selling waterproof phones ?

Who do I hand this $40 to save someone from their pimp?

I've never found the source of that statistic, but a non-profit I work closely with is called The Exodus Road. Through them it takes $3000 to fund the investigative work leading up to a brothel raid. They then estimate that for every pimp they take down from that raid (they often take down multiples as well as saving young girls), they save 200 girls into the future. So doing that math it comes out to $15 per girl saved from entering the industry by taking down a pimp.

Figures change as do metrics. But I think at the time that figure might have come from IJM (International Justice Mission), but I can't be certain.

Quite similar to http://ense.nyc/ from Venmo founder Iqram Magdon-Ismail ...

Thanks for this! I'll definitely check it out! Are there any features that ense.nyc has that you wish we had?

I was hoping that the interface would be audio as well

Unfortunately not, but we're working very hard right now so that iOS's voice over works flawlessly throughout the app. That way the blind and visually impaired community can use it as well.

Also, before I could even listen to one story your app tried to force me to watch a 20 second ad. Needless to say it is now uninstalled.

Weird, that shouldn't have happened. You're not supposed to get any ads until you've listened to at least X amount of waves. May I ask what platform you were on?

Add Instagram-style fancy audio filters and it might take off. But beware, the new ICQ is already doing this and much more.

Wow. That's a genuinely neat idea. Not sure about the delivery because I don't have an IOS device anymore.

we're hoping to do a web-based version. Would this work for you?

I would be interested in giving it a try, sure. Are you going to have a pseudonym policy or is it real name only?

Very cool! Reminds me of Voxer

Thanks! Appreciate it!

There was another app launched in India with a lot of fanfare 2-3 years ago (http://bubbly.net/). Though I have never received an invite from a friend or someone on it. (Just sharing)

Is there a web-based version too? Or is it Android and iOS app only?

At this point only Android and iOS app only.

Is there a reason you need web-based?

I would rather use the device I've assembled from my choice an almost infinite combination of parts, permanently hooked up to a hifi-grade 5.1 system with a subwoofer that's bigger than my head, and a boom mic and pop filter.

As opposed to a device picked in no small part (excuse the pun) because it's small enough to fit in my small hands. It has a speaker the size of my fingernail and a microphone that's even smaller again.

I use my phone when I can't use my laptop or workstation. It's a compromise device, and while I love and heavily use my phone, it's not a replacement.

Everything on my PC is better than on my phone. The screen, the input devices, the audio input, the audio output.

Plus a decent web client is always going to be more portable and will let you catch people on whatever device they want to use. You can get it on Windows phones and tablets, Linux devices, PCs, Macs and consoles.

A web-based version may also enable me to hack in a convenient workflow. Heck, I'd be tempted to hook it up so I could use it while stuck in traffic. And maybe if I get addicted to the platform even add a Twilio number so I can use it if I'm stuck without mobile data somewhere. Not a proper substitute for an API, but good enough in the beginning.

That was an amazing response. You've put me over the edge, i'm getting on this right now :)

Second for web-based. Its just one of my usage habits, although I feel like I'm in the minority. For example, I use Instagram on desktop (website) almost as much as the app.

One use case I can think of is sometimes I look at IG or FB with my friends on one screen, hell I even sometimes throw Tinder on the chromecast.

Awesome! I'll kick it over to the developers and see what we can do about getting it web-based / on desktop. :)

Sounds like VoiceTree from LifeAfter (a fiction story podcast).

Looks interesting. Have you gotten this submitted to Product Hunt?

I haven't yet. It's on the to-do list though. I might try to do it tonight.

I would use this, if it was available on Windows Phones.

How do you make money/finance this app?

It will be an advertising based revenue model.

Just a side remark: there are a lot of boring jobs where looking at the screen isn't allowed, but voice communications is possible(and maybe using earphone buttons).

For them a voice-based social network sounds like a great idea.

Very cool! Super stoked about this.

Austin, if you (or anyone else on here) sign up and send me your tshirt size and address (Darren@currentlyapp.io) I'd love to send you some swag for checking us out and repping the product. :) (oh and these are nice Tee's, not Gildan ;)

Have you checked out sparemin.com?

I haven't. I'll look into it!

Is there anything specific they do that you wish we did?

this is SO AWESOME. can't wait to use it!! incredible story behind it too.

Irony in an audio-only app using a full-size video hero on their website.


Can I just say, when I found Anchor on ProductHunt I nearly died. Their theme and even some verbiage was the same.

But in reality they're going after more of the podcast audience / angle. I'm trying to position currently as between friends with stories as the backbone.

I think Anchor is awesome and fully support them, but I think there are a lot of key decisions that have and will continue to be made that will push us further and further apart :)

This is a cool idea. I see people on youtube recording themselves painfully while driving and stuff, and the entire video is just them in the front seat driving. With this, you can rant while doing activities that require your entire visual field (washing dishes, laundry, errands, etc.)

Edit: hellban, post invisible. (content good). classify bad content vs. good content, hellban bad content specifically. possible improvement to an umbrella hellban

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