Last month, The edge announced the news of Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi’s new Fireside app, which promises to provide a “next generation podcast platform”, and today we can provide a better idea of the functionality and application interface. It’s currently in beta on iOS with a limited number of testers, most of whom appear to work in venture capital or as podcasters. However, their chats are visible to anyone, even non-users, through a browser and from this desktop view, along with screenshots of the app that The edge saw, we can get an idea of what Fireside is trying to accomplish.
Basically, the app is best described as a hybrid between Spotify’s Anchor software and Clubhouse. Although he prioritizes live conversations, like Clubhouse, he tries to make spontaneous conversations more professional. Introductory music greets people into a room, for example, which is a good idea, but it doesn’t translate exactly the way it does during an edited podcast. The music, for now, seems disjointed and out of place.
The general focus, at least based on the conversations going on in 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 participation more than Clubhouse, in that users can react to conversations without being on stage and enter comments or questions.
The creators of the app say they have 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 qu ‘with Clubhouse. One creator in a discussion said he plans to use Fireside for hosting instead of his regular service.
Looking at the desktop view, user profiles include a photo, bio, and number of followers / followings. You can also view which rooms the user has hosted as well as which rooms they have attended. The app records conversations natively, so you can listen to those past chats from the desktop. The app apparently assigns an emoji to archived chats, although it’s unclear how they’re chosen.
Once you’ve entered a chat, you can tap play in a chat. You will probably immediately notice some hold-like music at the start, which comes from a Fireside bot called waitBOT. The robot says it plays “soothing 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, along with information, such as how many people listened to it and hosted it.
A “skip” button allows you to jump to 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 hammer are the moderators, while speakers with a crown are the hosts. Moderators and presenters can automatically deactivate people and welcome them on stage.
Connecting to a live chat from the desktop is a bit less in-depth than recorded conversations. You can only display icons and names, as well as the number of people listening. When someone’s microphone is on, their photo is completely opaque and when muted, it is transparent.
From the application itself, which The edge seen in the screenshots, users can “react” to conversations with emoji and sound effects. People can clap, for example, which shows up in recorded conversations and fixes a problem Clubhouse users face: a quiet room and no way to measure how what they’re saying is going.
Members of the public can also choose an emoji and type a comment without directly jumping into a conversation. These comments and emoji will appear above participants’ heads like a thought bubble. Moderators or hosts can then type 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 an emoji microphone and submitting a written request.
So far, this is our best take on Fireside. Fatemi declined to comment for this story and we don’t have a better idea of when the app could go public. We’ll update this story if we learn more.