Women’s mobile social networking app, Peanut, today becomes the latest tech company to integrate audio into their product following Clubhouse’s success. Peanut, which started with a focus on motherhood, has grown over the years to support women at all stages of life, including pregnancy, marriage, and even menopause. He sees his voice chat feature, which he calls “Pods,” as a way for the women in his app to make better connections in a more supportive and secure environment than other platforms.
The pandemic, of course, likely sparked some interest in audio social media, as people who had been stuck at home found it helped fill the void that in-person networking and social events once did. However, voice chat social media leader Clubhouse has since seen its model become what is nothing more than a feature companies like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Discord, and others must embrace.
Like many Clubhouse clones to date, Peanut’s Pods provide the basics, including a deaf audience of listeners who virtually ‘raise their hands’ to speak, emoji reactions, and hosts who can moderate conversations and invite guests. people to talk to, among other things. For now, the company does its own internal moderation on audio pods, to ensure conversations don’t violate company terms. Over time, it plans to expand to include other moderators. (The company pays more than two dozen moderators to help it run the rest of its app, but that team has yet to be trained on audio, Peanut notes.)
While there are similarities to Clubhouse in its design, what Peanut thinks sets her audio experience apart from the rest of the pack is where these conversations take place – on a network designed for women built with security and trust. in mind. It is also a network where influencing hunting is not the reason people participate.
Traditional social media is often based on how many likes you have, how many followers you have, or whether you’re verified with a blue check, says Peanut founder CEO Michelle Kennedy.
“It’s all sort of based on status and popularity,” she says. “What we’ve never seen except on Peanut is this ‘care economy’, where women really support each other. It was never really about “I have X number of followers”. We don’t even have that concept. It was always about: “I need support; I have this question; I am alone or I am looking for a friend; ‘or whatever,’ Kennedy adds.
In Peanut Pods, the company says it will continue to enforce safety standards that make women feel comfortable on social media. This focus in particular might appeal to some of the women, and especially women of color, who have experienced harassment on other voice networking platforms.
“The only thing I would say is that we are a community and we have standards,” Kennedy notes. “When you have standards and you let everyone know what those standards are, it’s very clear. You are allowed to give an opinion but what you are not allowed to do is listed here… This is what we expect from you as a user and we will reward you if you do and if you don’t, we’re going to ask you to leave, ”she said.
Freedom of speech is not Peanut’s goal, she adds.
“We have standards and we ask you to meet them,” says Kennedy.
Over time, Peanut plans to use the audio feature to help connect women with people who have specific expertise, like lactation consultants for new moms or fertility doctors, for example. But these won’t be positioned as conferences where listeners are held hostage while a speaker buzzes over and over. In fact, Peanut’s design removes the concept of a “stage” from the Clubhouse to give everyone equal status whether they speak or not.
In the app, users will be able to find interesting discussions based on the topics they are already following – and, most importantly, they can avoid seeing other topics by turning them off.
The Pods feature is rolling out to the Peanut app starting today, where it will now reach over 2 million users. It will be free, like all Peanut, although the company plans to eventually launch a freemium model with paid products later.