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Talkshow - the new messaging app

4th May 2016

A new social network has arrived on the scene, and it’s causing a bit of excitement! Unlike Peach, which seemed to be doomed before it even began, Talkshow is in a different league. A live messenger app open to the public, means that people can view your conversations as they are happening. Some are calling it Periscope for texting and they are pretty spot on.

Released on IOS last week, Talkshow has been created by former Twitter exec Michael Sippey. He was inspired, he says, by a text conversation between Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran which was posted out on her Instagram feed. I guess Michael was fascinated, as so many of us are, by the screenshots of text conversations that you see all over social networks.

So we are talking about live conversations online that you can view. You may think that it sounds just like a Twitter conversation? You know, those threads that you scroll through to see who’s contributing to someone’s tweet? Well, you wouldn’t be far wrong, however the difference with Talkshow is that you have to be invited to join the conversation. Unlike twitter, only those you choose to have conversations with are included within the chat, there is no room for random people jumping in giving you their opinion!

So how do you join?

It is really easy to join Talkshow, you just download the app and register. It will ask you for your mobile number and then text you a confirmation code. You can then sign up with Facebook or Twitter and create your account. It will help find your friends, or you can search for them yourself.

      

Once you’re logged on, Talkshow will give you suggestions of conversations (or as they call them – ‘shows’) that you may want to view, or get involved in. You can also start your own. All you need to do is click ‘New show’, give your show a title and start inviting people. Once you’ve got your friends involved you can start chatting, and this chat will then be open for people to view. You can also add images or GIFs to create a visual or amusing element to your show. Don’t worry if you’ve said something that you regret; you can edit or delete.

If you spot a show that you really want to engage in, you can request to join. The original hoster of the show can then decide whether to accept you or not. If it is the latter, you can give a few limited responses to the show even if you aren’t part of the hosting. Comments such as ‘This is good’ or ‘lol’ can be added along with a variety of emojis so you can show the hosts what you think of their conversation! You can also ‘follow’ a show so it appears on your home page as soon as you log on, so you get updates on it.

I guess that one of the main plusses of Talkshow is that it has the feel of an online forum, where discussion is key and ideas are shared and talked about. However, this can be done on other platforms, so is that enough to keep it going? It is also very voyeuristic, but then don’t we love that? BuzzFeed and other blogs are full of screenshots of text conversations between parents and kids, friends or colleagues that make us smile, make us laugh and we can relate to. This is just taking it that step further, and becoming more involved in those conversations.

When asked ‘What makes Talkshow so different?’ Sippey responded by saying "There's room for a lot of different ways for people to communicate with each other and express themselves," meaning that he feels that all these different platforms can work alongside each other, rather than replacing other networks.

After having a look through Talkshow, I have to say I like it. You can look through different shows and pick one that you are interested in, plus you don’t have to actively engage if you don’t want to. On the flipside of that, if you are hosting a show, you don’t have to put up with trolls or newsfeed ‘hoggers’ that you may have to on other platforms, as you can choose who you have alongside you in the show.

Time will tell whether Talkshow will be a success or not, but in the meantime I’m going to keep an open mind. Is there room for another social network? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.