This morning one of the top stories in my Nuzzel newsletter – which puts together the most shared stories from people I follow on Twitter, so that I don’t get FOMO – was about Talkshow, a messaging app that allows you to text publicly.
Don’t get me wrong, I like texting. I text cat pictures, screenshots of internet funnies, comments about my breakfast, questions about my friends’ relationships, all the standard stuff. I use iMessage interchangeably with WhatsApp. And the majority of my message threads would be totally fine to appear in public. What I use Twitter for is public conversations: things I’d be happy for my friends to see, but I would also quite like other people to see it if they want to.
Anybody with a significant following on Twitter is likely also using it to have public back-and-forth conversations with one or two individuals. Often the same individuals – maybe their former editor, or a housemate, or someone from their industry who they like to engage in a bit of lighthearted sparring. It works well for public chatter, only occasionally interrupted by random Twitter users.
The two forms of communication – texting and Twitter – serve different functions as far as I’m concerned, and they work relatively well for these functions (even if Twitter is on the decline). But ultimately, quite a lot of what is shared publicly and privately is pretty bloody mundane for anyone not directly involved in whatever is being talked about. Cat pictures, Beyonce comments or otherwise.
So what the hell is Talkshow here for? This has got to be a joke. The messaging app for “texting in public” lets you invite whoever you want to be on your “talkshow” (aka your text thread), and it seems to have blown up in the tech press and beyond overnight (see Mashable, BuzzFeed, all the excitement on Twitter). The idea of it makes me shake my head and tut like a grandma. “Kids these days!” What is so appealing about sharing your random chit chat for others to see? You were doing that anyway on Twitter! And Instagram to an extent. And Snapchat. And so on.
The main reason I thought the app was a joke was because in the blogpost they shared, called Talkshow is texting in public, the founder cites a screenshot of what I think might be the most boring interaction I’ve seen in months:
Internet, we have reached new lows. If that is what I’ve got to look forward to working with as a marketer or a writer, then things look pretty bleak. I don’t care that it was created by Michael Sippey, former VP of Product at Twitter. I don’t care that instant messaging via robots is going crazy at the moment. Or that Christopher Mims, the tech columnist from the Wall Street Journal had this to say about Talkshow:
What I really think – after having laughed and maybe cried a little – is that Talkshow might go the same way as Jelly and Peach both did, which is to have massive media interest and hype for about three or four days, and then never be mentioned again.
Tweet me if I’m proved wrong @fakebananas