Blip.me Broadcast is a new social network from Camino Real. It allows users to record 30 seconds of audio on their iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad which can be pushed out to Twitter and Facebook. Why only 30 seconds?
Consider a similar service. Tumblr audio posts tend to be rambling ten minute long affairs. Because they allow a user to record for that long, most do. Blip.me’s 30 second limit seems restrictive, but it keeps messages succinct and interesting. With that out of the way, lets get started.
The app is simple to use. After you download it, and set up an account. You have the option of linking it to your Facebook and Twitter account. I’d love to see G+ support in the future. Once you’re done with set up, it’s time to talk.
To make your first post, press the bar at the bottom of the screen, and speak. The app will count you down at the twenty-five second mark. After you’ve recorded, you can write 120 characters of text to accompany your recording. Once you hit the button, your post is public and other users can respond to your post.
From my first day, I got responses from interesting people and took part in discussions with hundreds of users. If you’re a veteran Facebook user, you know that posts that get lots of comments are hard to follow. On Blip.me, I never felt like I lost the thread of the discussion.
That’s one of the qualities that stands out in Blip.me. A typical Blip will be a few short statements followed by a question for the audience. For instance, one user was on a road trip, and his friends posed the question “would you rather be wealthy, powerful, or famous?” which he shared on Blip.me.
This started a long conversation on the merits of fame, money and power. I think this is what other social networks are trying to achieve. More often, they get posts that act as virtual billboards. I’ve seen some posts on Blip.me that screamed “buy/read/like my stuff!” but those don’t draw replies. It is a community that has interaction as a core value.
I’ve been a part of the community for almost a month, and I haven’t seen anything abusive or troll-like. It might be attributed to Blip.me being new, but perhaps people are more restrained in speech than they are in writing. That’s a good thing, because Blip.me offers few options for moderation.
You can set your account to only receive replies from people that you follow. However, there is no way to moderate abusive replies to your posts. As the community grows, the developers need to give users tools to moderate their channels.
When developers add features to a program, they let users know via patch notes on the iOS store. Blip.me’s patch notes are spartan. For instance, two patches ago they added a feature called ”radio mode.” In the next patch they improved radio mode. I still don’t know what radio mode is. That hasn’t ruined the fun I’ve had with the app though.
I’ve enjoyed using Blip.me and will continue to use it. I’d recommend it to people looking for a more personal way to connect with friends online, and make new ones. Blip.me Broadcast is free on Apple’s iTunes app store.