On the surface, Twitter’s 140 character limit might seem like a hindrance, but in reality, this feature has helped make Twitter the social networking giant that it is today. The limit helps keep tweets interesting, and makes sure that people can easily go through their timeline even if they follow a large number of profiles. Vobok is a social network for smartphones that works on the same idea of intentional limitation, but instead of written words or links, Vobok focuses on audio. The app has been designed to let users record short voice messages, and then share them with their friends and followers. Even private messages can only be sent in audio form, making the whole network voice-based. In the past, Audiolip has offered a similar functionality for desktop, while mobile users have had VoiceBo. Vobok still has its own special place in this genre though, owing to the fact that it is a no-frills app, and enjoys integration with Facebook and Twitter.
Vobok offers three sign up options, including Facebook, Twitter and email. The welcome screen also lets users associate a profile picture with their new account. One signed in, Vobok displays a list of all of your contacts who are already on the service, while letting you send an invitation to anyone who is not using the app yet. Apart from personal contacts, people who have chosen to keep their Vobok profile public can be followed by anyone as well. These friends and followed users help populate the ‘Feed’ section of the app.
The Vobok feeds display a list of all the recordings posted by your contacts. These recordings can be played in-line without leaving the feed. The title of a post, along with its associated image (if any), also show up. Swipe across a recording if you want to re-post, add it to your favorites, or post a clip of your own in reply. The reply option only works for posts from people who follow you as well.
To create a Vobok recording of your own, hit the ‘Broadcast’ button from the bottom bar. To help keep things organized, you are strongly advised to give your posts a title. Attaching an image with the recording can also looks pretty good as the post’s cover. Thanks to the two button at the bottom of the recording area, users can choose to publish their posts to other social networks as well as on Vobok. To view your past posts, head to the ‘Profile’ section of the app, where you can also get an overview of your followers and people you are following.
Vobok has been around for a few months but before its latest update, the invitation method wasn’t exactly convenient. Now, however, this free app is truly uncomplicated, letting users focus on creating recordings rather than inviting friends.