SoundCloud, the audio platform not unlike Cinch or Audioboo, has launched Takes Questions, a new product in beta that lets anyone pose questions and others leave answers in audio, from a customisable webpage. Is this trying to be Quora for audio?
Maybe not. There are far more ‘media’ reasons to create this feature. Takes Questions is going to allow celebrities and musicians who use SoundCloud – and there are a few, as the service has grown up as a predominantly music platform – to “engage more deeply engage with their fans, followers and friends in a simple-to-use and personal way” says the startup. This feels more like a public voicemail box to me.
Users get a customisable webpage where you record a question which can be answered from a browser, iPhone or Android phone. The ‘Q&A’ is played back in sequence, and tweets automatically a new answer turns up. Slight fail: right now you need a log-in code.
But: good news. TechCrunch has arranged for 200 lucky people to try it out. Go here and enter the code “TechCrunch”.
Sure enough, the first users are Grammy award-winning singer Imogen Heap; Kimberly Wyatt of new band Her Majesty and The Wolves; BBC Radio One DJ Nihal; pop singer Diana Vickers; rock band The Blackout; pop punk band All Time Low; R&B act Encore; electropop band Fenech-Soler and “anti-folk” (WFT?!) duo Herman Dune.
Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud’s founder and CEO, says: “To know your questions are actually being heard and answered by the people you admire is far more meaningful and exciting than simply using the written word.”
The feature was created by SoundCloud in collaboration with Imogen Heap at MIDEM Hack Day earlier this year.