Talkshow app is Periscope for the camera-shy

Chris Davies - Apr 26, 2016, 3:07pm CDT
Talkshow app is Periscope for the camera-shy

Are your text conversations so interesting, it kills you that you don’t have an audience? Those who believe themselves to be truly entertaining can now prove their worth with Talkshow, a new app which blends elements of Twitter, Slack, and a sort of visual-podcast to effectively broadcast a written radio show.

On the one hand, Talkshow is a messaging app: you start a conversation – or, in app terms, a “show” – with one or more contacts, give it a name, and then get chatting.

Where it differs from iMessage, Whatsapp, or any other messaging platform is that people can listen in by design. Each show is publicly released as a broadcast, which others can read in real-time, either in the app itself or on a unique webpage generated for each show.

There’s a social network aspect to it, too, with the ability to follow contacts so as to get notified when they begin a new show. While you’re reading along, you can like individual messages and post reactions, as well as submit requests to co-host yourself.

Talkshow arrives as the idea of personal broadcasting in various forms has increasingly been gaining traction. Back in January, ZCast made podcasting from a phone straightforward, while Facebook Live has recently made efforts to take a bite out of Periscope’s live streaming video popularity.

In contrast, text could seem a little mundane, though the continuing popularity of Twitter as both a broadcast platform and as a backchannel for conversation might belie that assumption.

Those who’ve been using Twitter for a while will probably remember that the text-centric social network used to make it a lot easier to eavesdrop on conversations between those you follow and their other friends. The company changed how @-replies were shown several years ago, so that you would no longer see messages if they were addressed to someone you didn’t also follow.

Whether there are enough people interested in reading – and broadcasting – text conversations remains to be seen. For now, Talkshow is available for iOS only as a free download, and you can sign-in with a new account or via your existing Facebook or Twitter credentials.

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