Talkbits’ social walkie talkie launches on Android and iOS

12 Feb 2013

Real-time social voice stream Talkbits has launched its app on the Android and iOS marketplaces. The live public audio voice stream app is one of a new generation of social media apps that could disrupt social as we know it.

Following the US and UK launch on the Apple and Google app markets, the app will soon launch in Turkey, Brazil, Singapore, Indonesia and South Korea.

Talkbits is one of a new generation of social messaging companies alongside Snapchat, Instagram, Keek and Nextdoor that are changing how we view social networking, enabling distinct communities to form that aren’t all dominated by Twitter, Facebook or Google.

Talkbits operates over channels – or geotagged districts – in cities as well as by trending topics that allow people to chime in with a view or insight by voice in real-time.

The app is part of a concerted effort to build what Talkbits describes as a voice layer over venues in different cities worldwide to fill in the lack of valuable geotagged voice data for the next generation of online services.

As well as broadcasting their voices (and views) to live public audio streams by topic or two geo-tagged channels by location, users can also engage in group chats or private chats with friends.

The Zurich-based start-up is headed by CEO Olga Steidl.

“I personally use Talkbits as the main communication tool between me and my friends.

“A busy life doesn’t leave time for typing, thus recording voice messages and listening to them where it is convenient is definitely my favourite feature.”

The new generation of social leaders

When we met Steidl at the Dublin Web Summit in October, her company had just raised US$2m in early stage funding to bring walkie-talkie-style technology to the social web.

Steidl was nominated by The Moscow Times in June 2012 as one of the top 10 Russian entrepreneurs to watch and is a Seedcamp and Springboard mentor.

Steidl previously headed up mobile ecosystems at Yandex and prior to that her company SPB Systems was acquired by the Russian search giant.

Video interview with Olga Steidl at the Dublin Web Summit:

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years