How a social media company dumped the "social"

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

When Audioboo became Audioboom, it dropped the social content creator

The shift from Audioboo to Audioboom was more than a name change – it was an abandonment of the original users:

“The issue was probably quite fundamental,” Proctor says when asked to explain what was wrong with Audioboo when he joined. “Most people just don’t like the sound of their own voice. Twenty-five thousand regular monthly users after three-and-a-half years probably proved there isn’t much of a model in that business.”
Instead, Proctor decided to refocus the business on providing a personalised feed of audio from professional broadcasters. Instead of relying on one man and his phone, Audioboo would deliver audio from the big brands to a larger and (potentially) more lucrative audience.

It’s interesting – and a little depressing – that to thrive as a social media company you seem to need a scale that Audioboo(m) never achieved. But the pivot back to mainstream media feels short-termist. How does that stack up in a media consumption landscape increasingly dominated by Facebook, Pinterest and WhatsApp?

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.