Communicating with each other has lost its intimacy according to the people at CloudTalk and their new iPhone and Android app hopes to bring back that intimacy.
We had a chance to meet with David Hayden (CEO) and John Linney (CMO) in London recently to talk about their new app which has been in beta for eight months with 40,000 people regularly using it. Moving out of beta this week, CloudTalk is essentially a way of interacting with your friends by putting your voice at the centre of the communication platform – but also allowing text, video and photos to be shared in the conversation. Immediately we asked if voice was that important then why not just pick up the phone and call someone? Hayden said that they spoke to children aged between nine and 14 about the CloudTalk idea and while they said they enjoyed to talk, it just wasn’t on the phone.
Hayden and Linney believe that our voices have until now been excluded from all conversation on the internet and they hope that CloudTalk will bring it back to the centre of out way of communicating. CloudTalk works a lot like Twitter in that you chose a CloudTalk ID, invite friends to follow you, and then begin conversations. CloudTalk will even search your address book to find people already on the platform and ask if you would like to follow them. When seen first, conversations look a lot like a text conversation with some pictures included, however it is when you look closer, you notice voice recordings as part of the timeline.
Voice recordings can be up to six minutes long but are typically 30 seconds long looking at the test results, according to Linney. Seeing the system in operation shows just how easy it is to add voice messages to the conversation and you can even pause the recording mid-sentence to gather your thoughts and begin again. “This is what voice mail should have been all along,” Hayden believes. Conversations can have any number of participants and everyone in the conversation will be able to listen to, read or watch the recordings, text messages or videos posted by other people in the conversation. There is also the possibility to create Communities, which are like chat rooms for specific subjects. Hayden said that he has been using the app to run board meetings with people all over the globe and believes there will be many more uses like this for CloudTalk.
"CloudTalk makes talking as easy as texting, so we can freely use our voices to convey emotion, avoid misconstrued tone and get a message across far more quickly and powerfully than text alone,” Hayden added. All conversations are searchable and again like Twitter, hashtags can be added to make them easier to find. Looking at the commercial aspect of the venture, Hayden has said that they will be making the app platform available to mobile and web application developers to integrate the new dimension of voice, text and rich media to any application “where the power of human communication is important.” They are also looking at rolling out transcription on-demand of voice messages for a a fee in the near future.
CloudTalk is available now in the iTunes App Store and in the Android Market. Linney said they were also looking at opening up the CloudTalk app to the Windows Phone platform, especially considering the recent tie up with Nokia.