Social Samosa Platform Feature – VOIZD

VOIZD

About the Platform

VOIZD  is an Audio based Anonymous social space (mobile app) for everyone to express themselves freely, in quick 30 sec Audio clips with Optional Anonymity, Voice Morphing, and Community driven Moderation tools. Our mission is give voice to those hidden muted expressions, thoughts & opinions, which don’t find outlets today because society might find them objectionable or different.

The founding team comprises of..

Sameer Agarwal: Founder (Ex CMO & Ad Sales Head, RockeTalk)
Pooja Daswani: Co-Founder (Ex Communities & Ad Campaigns Manager, RockeTalk)
Rajiv Kumar: Co-Founder (Ex CEO, RockeTalk)
All three have worked together for about 8 years before they joined hands for VOIZD.

Whom do we cater to?

Everyone who ever stopped themselves from sharing their thoughts worrying about pesky repercussions, especially young women and men who are under constant pressure to fit in.

What do we offer to our consumers?

With traditional social networks being purely identity driven, the feeling of always being in the spotlight forces us to relentlessly curate how we self present online. Constant self-monitoring to hide our rough edges or different opinions to “fit in” leaving no space to be original, be weird or flawed. This especially sucks for the young people, who wish to freely exchange their thoughts & ideas.

VOIZD is the only social space at the intersection of audio and anonymity, giving its user power to share their most intimate thoughts and issues without the barrier of language and education, as everyone can speak and Listen.  Purely Visual and text based social spaces often leaves a huge mass of people, with powerful ideas on the sidelines. Text is limiting, and video is too bandwidth hungry and risky for countries like India. Besides, text lacks the emotive power of expression that voice carries, appealing to our very basic senses. It is also friction free and has no sign up on boarding.

VOIZD has a clear mission to give everyone a platform to speak their mind without the barriers of language, education, literacy, and social status, economic background. We believe it’s extremely important for people to express their thoughts and that can only be done when they know they can do so without fear.

What motivated us to start up?

During 2013 general elections while sharing my opinions on many issues, I started getting death threats and troll attacks, initially I thought it’s isolated to political opinions but soon realized that our society in general has become quite intolerant towards opinions and thoughts which are divergent from mainstream.  I also realized that we as a society subconsciously judge and label people based on their every thought and action and hence most people are always trying to fit in with the status quo even with very basics of their expressions, that seeded the idea of creating a safe space where people can be themselves.

While the app was still on the drawing board a conversation with an acquaintance made the team realized that traditional social spaces today are owned by English speaking Audience and people who are not very comfortable with English or other written forms get hard end of the stick, hence the team decided that Audio/ Voice based expression should be mainstay of the App, as everyone can speak even when they are not very comfortable in writing. What voice also does is that it keeps the essence, emotion, tonality, of the poster and hence the message intact leading to a deeper connect between the poster and listener.

What’s in a name?

VOIZD is a platform which is synonym with Raising your Voice and voicing your thoughts and opinions. We always ask people to voice their thoughts and since VOIZD is an Audio platform we thought it communicates the idea very well.

How do we see Social Media?

VOIZD itself is an audio social media platform and we are trying to become a catalyst of change, to become a platform where people can share thoughts without the worry of being judged or trolled. While all traditional social media plays on users identity, VOIZD gives more importance to users thoughts.  We use other social media networks to spread these amazing thoughts voiced by our users and communicate to them that they can also do the same.

Currently we are….

VOIZD beta app was only exposed in mid Sep, to a 100 people but since has organically grown to approx 2500 users, doing over seven thousand posts and over one lac public conversations, from topics ranging from Relationships, Gender issues, Fashion, Abuse. 70 % of our current users are women and highly vocal. The team is a 5 member team with 3 Founders and 2 Developers (one on server and one on client side each).

Our biggest challenge was..

Indian startup ecosystem is skewed towards ecommerce/ transactions based business models and VOIZD is trying to built a social networking product with social impact out of India which is unheard of, plus it is easy to raise funds for copy past business models from western world but not when you are trying to do something totally out of the box. Even startup accelerators applications don’t have a column for mobile social, they have for everything from payments to commerce to food delivery but not for social startups.

On the product side while audio is super engaging, UGC around audio is hardly attempted in India which has both tech and acceptability challenges as with any new concept

We want to dominate the world by..

VOIZD aims to become the defacto safe social space for people to discuss topics most close to their hearts and we are looking forward to on-board around 5 million users in next 24 months.

We’re making moolah by…

VOIZD is currently bootstrapped by the founders. We aim to start monetizing soon using Branded – “Ask Opinions”, Mix of High Value Engagement and sponsored ad units like Audio (ask opinion), Contests /brand games/surveys, Audio commercials in Play list and Sponsored Brand Voiz/Trends/Users etc.

Our What The **** Moment

As we released our beta App it somehow found its way in hands of user in Singapore who raised a very important question, “Why do men orgasm much quicker than women?” the way she asked it was just hilarious and it did not just led our team but our early community into splits, at that moment we realized that she could not have asked this question on her Facebook or Twitter and it was both an Aha and a very good **** moment for us little did we realize that soon we will have many such moments everyday.

Industry as we foresee

We see the Social Media industry growing but changing form, we see big shift from textual nature to more audio and video. We believe that for social media to be more inclusive for next billion users in India and across the world it has to be more inclusive and that is only possible as we shift to a medium which is more comfortable for everyone for both expression and consumption. Audio /Voice we feel is that big qualifier. Almost everyone can speak and hear without the barrier of education and language. Also, as people want to express more of their personality audio has the least path to resistance to stand apart and express oneself without the pressure of always being perfect that video brings. Also if the current structure of social media network does not fig out ways to cut labeling and trolling we will see less and less people sharing their original thoughts on traditional social networks defeating the purpose of it,

Lastly, are you hiring?

Yes, we are currently looking for Marketing interns and community managers.


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