“The term ‘social networks’ is obsolete”: Nat Cortazar, director of Stereo España
Audio is all the rage. Twitter has the Spaces oven, Clubhouse has been a great pitch (though it’s still only on iOS) and Stereo seeks to bring the creation of podcasts and social gatherings in real time to everyone through an app. All these applications have something in common: people with like interests who meet around a topic and interlocutors who share their opinion with listeners who, in turn, can participate in the chat.
Basically, they are quite the opposite of the basic functioning of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and even podcasts, where communication is unidirectional and global: the user speaks on the air and his message falls into a sack along with millions and millions of messages, publications, photos, videos, etc., waiting for the rest of the users, who do exactly the same, read it and interact. Maybe that’s what he means Nat Cortazar, director of Stereo España, when she states in a interview with Xataka that “the term social networks is obsolete.”
The sense of community
To give us an idea of how the paradigm of social networks has evolved, we can look at Twitch. What makes Twitch different from YouTube? Community. It is not a platform to which you upload a video and expect people to see it, but rather it allows you to broadcast in real time, create a community around a person and interact with the audience in real time. In fact, if you look at the most popular content creators, what they do is broadcast on Twitch and then upload clips of the live to YouTube. On one platform you see it live, on another you see it because you’ve missed it.
In the end, the world of social media is moving to that, to make platforms are bi-directional and communal. Stereo points exactly in that direction. Not only is it a listener-friendly platform to use, but anyone can be a creator. Not everyone is cut out for a camera on Twitch, Instagram or TikTok, but perhaps he is encouraged to make an audio chat to talk about what he considers.
As Cortazar explains, “the idea is that anyone with a mobile phone and a medium Internet connection can express their ideas, always respecting everyone”, in reference to the community guides that prevail in Stereo. No need to mount a setup gaming con luces, DSLR cameras and a 1 Gbps internet connection, but instead anyone with a mobile can start an audio streaming live and talk to and with your friends about whatever you want.
In short, you can have a real conversation, “something that doesn’t happen much nowadays”, just like He said Austen Allred, co-founder of Lambda School. Everything is said, it is true that the idea of Stereo is not new. Twitter has been working and testing Spaces for a long time, which are voice rooms in which to talk about certain topics openly, without trolls or toxic people that contribute zero to the discussion on the table. Somehow, in Stereo, Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces it is removed noise how present is usually in online conversations.
And it seems that the idea works. Stereo, which is perhaps the most open platform (Clubhouse is only on iOS and requires an invitation and Twitter Spaces is in the testing phase), it was launched at Christmas last year. Cortazar has not revealed the number of users that the platform has, but it does reveal that in Spain and Latin America there are users with more than 120,000 followers. A close case may be that of Auronplay, which has almost 100,000 followers.
The director of Stereo in Spain affirms that “we have suffered such a brutal growth, but so brutal, that we do not have enough capacity to estimate how many users we have in real time, because we are going super fast”. A proof of this is in the top applications of Google Play and App Store, where Stereo has managed to sneak into the top 5. In the App Store, without going any further, is the third most popular free app, above TikTok, Instagram or WhatsApp.
Earning money also helps
And creating a community is very good, but it is not a secret that social networks have been regularly at the time of make your creators earn money. Stereo wants to tackle that problem in a simple way: more listeners, more income. “In Stereo the cool thing we have is that we are going to take care of our creators, and that is something that we have super clear, super internalized, that we know that there has been a lot of commotion with other platforms that perhaps they have not known, or have not wanted, let’s say , reward the creators who have given them communities within the platform. We are very aware in this regard, without creators and without people creating quality content we will not be anyone“says Cortazar.
One of the keys to Stereo is the ability to earn money on the platform
How is Stereo monetized? There is a weekly competition and user ranking. The more listeners, the higher the number you receive. The total prize amounts to 100,000 euros and a broadcast that exceeds 15,000 listeners can aspire to 10,000 euros. That is the maximum, but in the lower part of the ranking there are countless prizes of 100 euros for users with fewer listeners. The premise is simple: if you create an interesting conversation, you will attract listeners and, the more listeners, the more money you hope to earn.
That money is transferred to the user’s account, or Stereo desk, as it is called in the app, and can be withdrawn when it exceeds 10 euros. It takes five to seven business days for the money to reach the user’s account. Now in the policy of this weekly competition It is established that only those users who are of legal age, reside in the United Kingdom or the United States, make the program in English and do not broadcast Stereo’s content on another platform simultaneously, can participate.
From the public to the community
In conclusion, what the success of applications such as Clubhouse or Stereo confirm is the paradigm shift that little by little has become more evident: community search. Social networks seek to be more and more intimate, closer, and allow the user not only to express their opinion on a topic to the world, but also to converse in a bidirectional way, generate community, promote healthy conversation and, incidentally, monetize their audience In a direct way.
Because although Stereo, Clubhouse and other apps allow you to open conferences, you can also do private streams for a group of people. It is the same as private Facebook groups, Telegram macro channels, Discord channels or massive WhatsApp groups. In the end it all results in the same: get the conversation back and the feeling of freedom, something that in the most massive social networks seems to have been lost.