Social Media Platform Feature – VoxWeb


About the Platform

VoxWeb is a ‘special-purpose’ social network developed around voice-augmented photos or “speaking-pics”. If a user anywhere in the world has to create, consume, share or send a “speaking-pic” (speaking-selfies or voxies as we call them) then they would need the VoxWeb app on their phones. In addition to “speaking-pics” users can do mainstream social media activities (one-to-many communication) with text and images. Moreover VoxWeb has an in-app VoxWeb messenger for general inter-personal communication.

Unlike other social media platforms, VoxWeb platform has been designed with a “communication-first” approach with a primary focus on comprehensive communication and limited interest in sharing content.

The VoxWeb team is currently a group of a dozen designers and software engineers. The team is led by the company founder and product designer Yash Mishra who is an IIT Kanpur alum.

Whom do we cater to?

All those who want to use internet for effective communication – both interpersonal and one-to-many.

What do we offer to our consumers?

Post Facebook, ‘Special-purpose’ social media platforms have evolved around a utility or as they say “special-purpose”. VoxWeb brings 2 important utilities. First is the concept of “speaking-pic” where rather than using a bland text caption (generally in English) a user can add a short and punchy voice note to give perspective to the image. Now in the world where a vast majority of the people struggle to write something in public, this approach of clubbing voice-notes with a picture removes a big friction in one of the most popular tools of online communication (image sharing). In the process a user also makes his/her photo richer by adding voice and emotions to the exhibit.

The second utility is, obviously, entertainment. “Speaking-pic” is technically a new medium which is between a photo and a video and this opens a plethora of new, interesting and highly engaging content such as speaking-comics, speaking-posters, etc. in addition to creative and interesting user generated voice-augmented photos.

What motivated us to start up?

The glory and joy in creating an interesting product which users from all the 6 continents can use played an important part.

What’s in a name?

Just like “Vox Populi” is voice of masses and “Vox Dei” means voice of god, VoxWeb means voice of web/internet.

How do we see Social Media?

Social media has become a necessary evil. It has played a heroic role in disrupting (sometimes corrupt) media but the data/info outpour that happens on a user on a daily basis has become a big pain-point. One of the biggest problems of social media that nobody has solved till date is that it gives users a false impression that everyone is having an amazing time on the planet except for themselves, which creates emotional and mental stress.

Currently we are…

Info on network size will follow soon. As a company policy we don’t reveal the network size – it’s not an original approach as some networks have refused to reveal this number till they crossed 100 million users or so.

Read: Creative visual apps help rise above linear storytelling on social media

Our biggest challenge was…

Trying to build something global in India.

India even till date is not as big a soft-power as the US or Europe and this makes any cultural phenomena to spread to other geographies difficult. But, as they say, it’s anything but easy to make history so we as a team don’t complain or bring excuses.

We want to dominate the world by…

That’s a secret but we do have 2-3 very powerful and empowering features (developed and tested) currently in the pipe-line which will radically change the global scene of social media as we know it.

 We’re making moolah by…

Targeted ads is one approach. In-app purchases can be the second biggest revenue stream.

Our What The **** Moment

One of our team members Manoj used to ask every now and then (in fact quite frequently), about raising funds for VoxWeb.

Annoyed by his repetitive questioning the team developed a response that the India head of a big marquee VC firm has agreed to invest USD $2 mn if Manoj agrees to marry his daughter. The tool worked and the frequency of Manoj’s question had a marked dip.

Industry as we foresee

At the risk of appearing vainglorious, the shape and composition of the Indian social media industry in coming years will depend a lot on VoxWeb’s performance in the next year or so. Success of VoxWeb will inspire more and more Indian entrepreneurs to develop new innovative social media platforms but the other outcome may mean the status-quo or continued domination of Silicon Valley based social media and communication platforms.

Lastly, are you hiring?

We have a rather counter-intuitive or perhaps unusual approach on this matter. We hire not to fill positions but to enlarge and strengthen our group / team of amazing people. That means we are always ready to welcome great exceptional people but there is no position-specific hiring going on at this point.

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