Audio/Video Social Commenting Tool Debuts Encouraging Less Toxic Online Interactions
Toxic commentary, online bullying and anonymous web trolling may no longer be the plague that discourages web commentary, thanks to Yappa World Inc., a Southern California startup that will debut a free audio and video commenting tool for news & entertainment sites, blogs and all publisher websites this month.
Yappa is a fun and easy new way to communicate that is an alternative to the typical text comments offered at many news sites, sports forums, review sites and customer service platforms. Yappa lets users leave audio only or video comments called “Yaps” that remove the limitations of the traditional text-based approach, which have to rely on emojis to enhance text communication. Now, website visitors can quickly and easily record an audio-only or video clip of their comment to embed into the Yappa plugin on any particular article or blog post.
“Yappa has given YBF an edge over other similar entertainment platforms as we now have the ability to interact in the notorious comments section via video & audio,” said Natasha Eubanks, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of TheYBF.com. “Now our readers’ comments aren’t just written, they come to life. It’s a clout lover’s dream. I’m not a big Facetime person, but Yappa gives me the ability to partake in conversations in a similar fashion, with solely audio if I choose. This means more engagement at an intimate level with our readers, who have the ability to put faces to name in the YBF community. Add in the longer on-page times for our advertisers and it’s a win all around.”
“With Yappa, users can now socialize through actually talking,” said Yappa CEO and Co-Founder Jennifer Dyer. “Publishers can create their own social media environment and because communication is via an audio/visual feed, it brings more civility to online discourse and allows both publishers and end users to build beautiful communities where debate and comments are non-toxic.”
According to Yappa, users can be flagged for alleged profanity, pornography, bullying and hate speech by admins and other users and banned from the site. Because users can’t hide behind an anonymous name or avatar, the solution has had a less than 2% flag rate among early adopters.
“Each community using Yappa establishes their own standards for etiquette, social morale standing, and acceptable language,” Dyer said.
Yappa Features and Online Issues Addressed
- Audio/Video comments adds sentiment, emotional depth, and a clear understanding of what user attempts to convey, which is often lost or misunderstood via text
- Increases user session times for publishers to retain their audience
- Creates and fosters a social community for its publishers
- Yappa takes minimal page space in comparison to the long threads of text within comment plug-ins. It can be integrated as a replacement or enhancement to text commentary.
- Solves the problem of toxicity and anonymity that creates hostile commentary environments
- Mobile accessibility. Yappa allows users to post audio/video comments on websites from within their mobile browser without downloading an app.
- Backend transcription. Yappa transcribes every comment, indexes the key words and allows the organic conversation to be searchable via SEO.
Yappa works on any computer with a webcam and microphone, as well as on mobile devices.
Publishers and Investors Line Up to “Yap”
Publishers love Yappa because it can be easily added to their site so that comments can now be shared via video feeds over multiple social platforms (such as Facebook & Twitter), bringing new traffic to the publisher’s website. And, unlike most commenting tools, Yappa has applications across different verticals, such as product reviews, customer service support industries, radio broadcasts and podcasters.
To date Yappa has raised more than $2.5 million from private investors. Early adopters include TheYBF, The London is Blue Podcast, and Alileveine.com.
In addition, Yappa delivers useful backend analytics through its patent-pending publisher dashboard features with the objective of converting audible comments and conversations into real-time valuable data. Through the automatic transcription of every audio/video comment, Yappa can deliver key analytics to publishers (trending words, conversational trends), along with an internal key-word search database.
Prior to Yappa, online publishers struggled to retain their audience and were often forced to communicate via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, at the expense of keeping their audience within their own environment. For example, the London is Blue Podcast upon installing Yappa experienced a 55% increase in traffic and session times to its landing page. The results are interesting because podcasters typically do all of their outreach via social media, and rarely receive traffic to their sites.
“Yappa greatly increases retention, engagement, interactions and brand loyalty for bloggers, web publishers, and all online communities,” said Kiaran Sim, Chief Operating Officer for Yappa. “We truly believe that text-based commenting is archaic. Many times comment sections are littered with unproductive toxicity. It’s much harder to be rude if you’re using your voice.”