QWiPS wants to make sound social


Social apps have conquered just about all the terrain that’s out there. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo have a firm grasp on sharing video, there are innumerable photo-sharing platforms, and the likes of Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook have revolutionized how we “pen” our thoughts.

But what about voice? No application has really made sound shareable or convinced consumers that they post what they see and what they do—what about what they hear or sound like? QWiPS wants to change that.

The social application, formerly known as blurts (talk about a name change that couldn’t come quickly enough), wants to transform the landscape so that Twitter is full of QWiPS sound links, photos that have voiced memos behind them, and text messages with sound bites. The New York-based startup recently secured $1.25 million in series A funding and showed off the beta version of its upcoming iPhone app at New York Fashion Week.

At the moment, Qwips is little more than a 30-second voice recorder application, although it’s an intuitive, easy-to-use free one that does not require a download. That said, its upcoming app is what will really reveal whether consumers want to qwipstake the next step into social and share sound. With the iPhone app, users will be able to add context to Facebook photos, convey tone in tweets, and add what QWiPS calls “filters and effects.”

Of course the site supports its own social network of sorts. You can follow users and like their QWiPS, or QWiP someone back. But that sort of feels like a step backward in time–after all, people are avoiding talk time in favor of texting. But taking this technology and adding it to social networking might makes things more personal, more interactive. The app is due to hit the iPhone later this month, although a QWiPS representative tells us Apple is in the process of approving it.

We did a quick search anyway and found an app called Yiip from Qwip, Inc. Don’t be confused: These two aren’t associated at all. Yiip is also a social voice application which bears more than a few similarities to the upcoming app from QWiPS. We’re interested to see how the two will compare, but already it’s clear from Yiip’s app and QWiPS Web version that this sort of thing is far better suited for a mobile platform. But QWiPS must be on to something with infusing the Internet with voice as competitors are coming out of the wood work, and others like SoundCloud are gaining steam. 

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