Here’s a first look at Mark Cuban Fireside’s podcasting platform

Last month, The edge broke the news of Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi’s new Fireside app, which promises to offer a “next-generation podcast platform,” and today we can provide a better idea of ​​the app’s functionality and interface. It is currently in beta on iOS with a limited number of testers, most of whom seem to work in venture capital or as podcasters. However, your chats are visible to anyone, even non-users, through a browser and from this desktop view, as well as screenshots of the application that The edge You’ve seen, we can get an idea of ​​what Fireside is trying to accomplish.

Generally speaking, the app is best described as a hybrid between Spotify’s Anchor and Clubhouse software. Although it prioritizes live conversations, like Clubhouse, try to make impromptu conversations sound more professional. Intro music welcomes people into a room, for example, which is a nice touch, but it doesn’t translate exactly the way it does during an edited podcast. The music, for now, sounds disjointed and out of place.

The overall emphasis, at least based on the conversations that occur on the app, seems to be on how Fireside can help podcasters monetize their work through exclusive conversations or, in some cases, recruit them to Fireside for all of their podcasting efforts. . The app encourages audience engagement more than Clubhouse, as users can react to conversations without being on stage and can write comments or questions.

The app’s creators say they’ve heard that the app will allow them to host their shows and distribute them via RSS feeds to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and other podcast players, which is more in line with Anchor than Clubhouse. A creator in a chat says that he plans to use Fireside for hosting instead of his usual service.

In desktop view, user profiles include a photo, a bio, and a number of followers / followers. You can also see the rooms the user has hosted, as well as which they have participated in. The app records conversations natively, so you can listen to these past chats from your desktop. The app apparently assigns an emoji to archived chats, although it’s unclear how they are chosen.

After accessing a chat, you can press play in a conversation. You’ll probably immediately notice a wait-like music at first, which comes from a Fireside bot called waitBOT. The bot says it plays “relaxing music for you while you wait for people to join in.” You can also see the event description as a chyron at the bottom of the screen, as well as information such as how many people listened and who organized it.

A “skip” button allows you to jump to the highlighted parts of the conversation, which the host chooses. As the speakers change throughout the conversation, you will see their profile picture and name. Speakers with a mallet are the moderators, while speakers with a crown are the hosts. Moderators and hosts can automatically mute people and welcome them to the stage.

The deck icon represents a moderator.

Tuning into a live chat from the desktop is a bit less thorough than recorded conversations. You can only see icons and names, as well as the number of people listening. When someone’s microphone is on, their photo is completely opaque and when it is muted, it is transparent.

From the application itself, which The edge seen in screenshots, users can “react” to conversations with emoji and sound effects. People can applaud, for example, what shows up in recorded conversations and solve a problem that Clubhouse users have run into: a quiet room with no way to measure how what they are saying is going.

Audience members can also choose an emoji and write a comment without jumping directly into a conversation. These comments and emoji will appear above the heads of the participants as a thought bubble. Moderators or hosts can write or address comments during the chat.

If the participants do want to join the live chat, they can request to join the stage by tapping a microphone emoji and submitting a written request.

A view of a live Fireside chat.

For now, this is our best view of Fireside. Fatemi declined to comment for this story, and we have no better idea when the app will be released publicly. We will update this story if we learn more.

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