Will Voice Be Heard?
Sonal Khetarpal April 15, 2019
First, it was English. Then came regional languages. And now, audio messages may gain traction on social media. Instagram has added a voice messaging feature to its direct messages. Facebook is testing an 'add voice clip' feature, which allows users to record short audio clips and post them as status updates, reflecting how they are feeling. Professional networking platform LinkedIn has also launched an option to record and send audio clips along with text messages.
P.G. Aditiya, Executive Creative Director of Dentsu Webchutney, says that the voice component will impact developing markets a lot more than the developed world as it solves the problem of 'written illiteracy'.
"Voice is a very pertinent innovation for a country like ours where none of us speaks the same language or type in the same way," he adds.
Moreover, voice enhances user experience, says Aditiya, which is another plus. As a medium of communication, it is more efficient as the speed of information sharing is much faster than typing and posting text messages. It also ensures that one's phone works as a single-hand device (when you listen to messages or respond to them without typing), making it more convenient to use. It is not surprising, therefore, that a whole bunch of voice-only social media platforms such as HearMeOut, Listen, Voiz and Riffr have come up recently.
Voice is also personal as it conveys emotions and nuances a lot more effectively than text. But it is for these very reasons that it will take this medium some time to disrupt social media, says Siddharth Deshmukh, Adjunct Faculty and Senior Advisor at MICA (formerly, Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad). The reason is not technology but the first principle of biology.
"For digital natives, voice is unnatural, and text is natural," explains Deshmukh. Right from the beginning, they have typed - an activity that uses prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with rationalising, moderating social behaviour, reflection and so on. Unlike previous generations, they are not very comfortable with voice simply because it activates the brain's cerebellum area that regulates and releases emotions.
"Moving back to voice from text as a medium of expression is like moving back from prefrontal cortex to cerebellum," says Deshmukh. Also, businesses must ensure the same level of curation, editing and special effects for audio as they do for text to build their brands if the voice-only format has to disrupt current social media platforms, he adds.
SC to Review TikTok Ban
The Supreme Court has agreed to look into the interim ban on TikTok after a special leave petition by Bytedance (India) Technology, the company that owns the mobile application. On April 3, the Madras High Court had issued an interim direction to the Centre to ban the popular Chinese video app saying it was encouraging pornographic and inappropriate content. Bangladesh and Indonesia have banned the app for similar reasons.
WhatsApp's Big Privacy Feature
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UK for Tough Internet Laws
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