Talking Cats: Digisocial Lets You Add Voice to Pics

Photograph by Akimasa Harada; Illustration by 731

You thought photo sharing couldn’t get more self-involved. Turns out you were wrong. Now that vain girl/guy who takes photos of her/himself in the mirror and posts them all over social networks can also add voice captions to them. “Kisses!”

Digisocial, a free iPhone app that was launched in the U.S. yesterday, allows users to take a still photo and record a sound clip to layer over it (it’s a .jpeg image with .m4a audio). They can also comment on these VoicePhotos with their own audio. Then they share the VoicePhotos with others who have the app, or share a link to them via Facebook or Twitter. Get ready for a deluge of talking cats, birthday songs, fart jokes, and bad one-liners.

“It’s given people the opportunity to create a more enhanced or personalized sharing experience,” says Marco Mereu, a Digisocial spokesman. “The combination of voice with images provides a more powerful effect for people.” Unlike video, he adds, users can capture the image and sound separately. This gives them time to edit and test their skill at thinking of the absolute perfect thing to say, or sing, or impersonate.

Here are some examples (sorry, you’ll have to go to Digisocial’s website to play the audio):


Woo hoo!

Mmmmm, spicy!

Digisocial was founded last year by David Guo and Lu Lu, who had previously created the online war game Evony, which has 33 million registered players, as well as fantasy role-playing game Tynon. About 50 developers have worked on Digisocial over the past two years, Mereu says.

Since the app’s release in Canada on Jan. 12, about 40,000 users have signed up. Mereu says the app is ad-free, and the company will not share user information with third parties. Digisocial has not yet settled on a business model, but it is considering allowing companies to create custom groups to draw followers, or to help companies develop catchy VoicePhotos.

I only wonder what a Twinkie could say (“Help me!”). I hear ya, Twinkie.

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