Pitter Pattr has built a library of audio to share on social media

14 Sep 2020

Patrick Payne, CEO of Pitter Pattr. Image: Pitter Pattr

Our Start-up of the Week is Pitter Pattr, a platform that enables users to share their favourite sound snippets through all popular digital messaging platforms.

Pitter Pattr is an Australian start-up co-founded by former semi-professional basketball player Patrick Payne and software veteran Leng Lim.

Between his athletic career and his role leading Pitter Pattr, Payne has acquired a BA in innovation and entrepreneurship from the University of Adelaide and has worked as a product manager at Australian ASX-listed technology company, MGM Wireless.

Lim spent 15 years working in the defence industry leading the development of technology for a large range of clients while working at companies such as Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and DXC Technologies.

Together, Payne and Lim have built a platform that enables users to share their favourite short-form audio, known as snippets, on digital messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Pitter Pattr’s library of snippets includes popular catchphrases and movie quotes as well as audio from sound artists and a bank of user-generated content.

The market for Pitter Pattr

Billions of text messages are sent worldwide each day. In 2019, Facebook saw 1.3bn people use Messenger each month. Giphy has long surpassed 100m daily users collectively sending 1bn GIFs each day. This is the market that the Australian start-up is eyeing up.

Speaking to Siliconrepublic.com, Payne said: “The opportunity to improve the way people communicate through digital messaging is on a global scale. Sound is around almost everyone, every day. There’s sound in everything we do, and anyone can convey their emotions through sound.”

Payne said that through the app’s soft and official launches, it has seen people from a variety of different countries sign up, design sounds and share them across social media platforms.

“While we encourage people of all ages to use Pitter Pattr, a healthy percentage of our current user base are younger than 30 years old,” Payne said.

He said: “While sending sounds to your friends and family is great fun, there is some serious science behind the reason we are so attracted to sound and why those catchy (and annoying) songs stay in our heads for days on end. Research shows that sound is stored in an individual’s echoic memory longer than a visual representation, or iconic memory.”

While these sensory memories are not types of long-term memory, the Pitter Pattr CEO believes that communicating through sound could lead to “more memorable conversations” than the standard text-based message.

“Another problem Pitter Pattr solves is the common scenario where a person sends a text message but we aren’t quite sure of the tone and the sentiment,” Payne said. “Is she saying ‘fine’ like everything is fine? Or ‘fine’ as in, I shouldn’t go home tonight?”

The journey so far

When asked what the start-up’s ultimate goal is, Payne said that he hopes to see the technology adopted globally some day. If that ever happens, he said that he’s determined to keep it as an independent platform with direct integration into all digital messaging platforms.

Officially launched in June 2020, after 18 months of preparation, the start-up is currently testing an iOS keyboard app which could integrate Pitter Pattr into mobile device keyboards, enabling a smoother and faster experience for users.

“We recently brought on extra development resources to fast track certain functionalities, including a social network, notifications and integrations with TikTok and SoundCloud which have been extremely popular among users,” Payne said.

So far, Pitter Pattr has remained self-funded and Payne said that he is “comfortable” with the start-up’s current level of revenue. If the company sees its current adoption rate continue, then it hopes to seek seed investment in the second half of 2021.

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Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic