Anchor has updated its tool for creating podcasts with people in different places. Record With Friends 2.0 is now in beta, and it aims to offer users more options in supported devices. Up to four people can join a session.
The new feature development was motivated by the Coronavirus situation globally. “People all over the world are adjusting to ever-evolving constraints and circumstances right now,” Anchor said in a blog post. “Talking to each other, sharing stories, and sparking conversations are a crucial part of staying connected, and right now, podcasting is one of many ways those connections can be maintained.”
With the latest version, participants don’t need an Anchor account to accept an invitation to record. It’s also possible to chime in from either a mobile device or on desktop. The original version was only available on mobile. No special hardware is required to get involved, which is helpful when people are currently stuck in their homes, although Anchor does suggest using a strong WiFi connection and trying to avoid any disruptions to Internet access during the recording.
“Talking to each other, sharing stories, and sparking conversations are a crucial part of staying connected, and right now, podcasting is one of many ways those connections can be maintained,” the company said in its blog post about the update. “So we wanted to make it easier to record with others, even from a distance.”
What We Think
Brilliant. One major enhancement is the inclusion of connections outside of Anchor — those people don’t need an Anchor account to respond to a podcast conversation invitation:
With Anchor’s scale this could spark a lift in conversational podcasting, one of the most difficult content categories to produce effectively, as the logistics of combining audio from two sources are formidable.
Record With Friends harkens back, in a way, to Anchor’s version-1 social beginning, which many people miss. (Maybe it’s only us, but we sure do.) That first Anchor platform was social media for audio, with members posting 30-second streams that others could easily reply to with their own audio. Podcast is a clunkier medium for social interactions, and Record With Friends smooths it out in a certain way.