Natalie Hughes gives her initial thoughts on SXSW’s much-hyped app, Anchor...
I’ve oft dreamed of being a radio presenter, mostly because I prefer to work makeup-less in pyjamas, and also because I’m a bit of a Spotify control freak. Apart from my brief stint as a deejay on my university radio show – playing over-indulgent twee music in the graveyard slot, in case you wondered – my pipe dream has never been realised… until now. Sort of.
Anchor is a new audio-blogging app, self-coined as ‘radio by the people’. Essentially, it’s Twitter with sound. Rather than 140 characters, you have two minutes in which to wax lyrical in a ‘wave’ about, well, pretty much anything. Users can also add a short caption and hashtags, which, as with every new app in its infancy, are all-important for in-app searchability.
Right now, Anchor’s home to a motley crew of peppy marketeers (of which I’m probably one tbh), history lovers and amateur musicians. This is music (literal and otherwise) to the ears of early adopters everywhere, as for one, there’s plenty of room for more voices and secondly, it’s an ultra-engaged and somewhat niche community.
There are more reasons to love Anchor, whether you’re an influencer or a brand. Online abuse seems unlikely when the medium is no longer voiceless, making it a much more positive space to create. Moreover, it’s a way to create mini podcasts without the hassle of mic-ing up and pre-planning. It’s spontaneous, it’s easy, and it’s a way to establish yourself as an expert (with the help of a strategically placed hashtag).
The subject of much hype at this year’s SXSW, the app has been softly marketed almost exclusively to the US market – more impetus for non-US users to jump on now, before it gets crowded. I attribute my own 600k Pinterest follower count to eager early adoption, so it seems sage to get involved now. Oh, and while you're at it follow me by searching 'Natalie Hughes'.
Words: Natalie Hughes
Image via Citizen Couture