Several UCSB students have recently began promoting a new iPhone application called Sprokk, which allows users to add a voice message to images sent between friends.
The app was created by UCLA graduate Justin Casale-Savage and Matthew Sanger, and it is intended to go beyond the social networking capabilities of Instagram and Facebook while still maintaining compatibility with these more popular sites. Users can attach up to 17 seconds of voice recording — a short clip called a “sprokk”— with a picture, and users can then re-post the clip. Sprokk currently has about 1,000 members and has been in the iTunes store for about a month and a half now.
Sara Praw, UCSB ambassador for the app and fourth-year communication and psychology double major, said Sprokk is an effective tool for online socialization, in comparison to other more widely used social networking applications.
According to Praw, applications like Instagram and Facebook only allow users to post pictures and send text messages, while Sprokk has the advantage of creating “more personal” posts, as “all angles” of a message can be translated through the auditory component.
“A lot of things can be understood from hearing something spoken versus just reading the words yourself,” Praw said. “Oftentimes, the true meaning behind a message does not get delivered with text alone.”
The application allows users to send clearer, more straightforward messages, which had previously been more difficult to do with other applications, according to Praw.
“Personally, I often get in trouble because my sarcasm does not transfer over text,” Praw said. “In speaking my messaging using Sprokk, the listener can use the tone of my voice to fully grasp the meaning of my typically very sarcastic messages.”
According to Sanger, initially the app’s success took him by surprise, but now the increased popularity only motivates him to expand and forward the business.
“I think it will only grow and pick up from here,” Sanger said. “People are saying it’s part of their everyday life.”
Casale-Savage, a 2011 alumnus of UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, said he has spent the past 18 months working on Sprokk.
According to co-creator Sanger, the biggest reward from working for Sprokk, after conceptualizing the app for a year, has been watching the user base grow.
“We sat, talked about it, dreamed it. It’s reached so many different levels of complexity,” Casale-Savage said. “We made somebody else do something, which is pretty impressive. Every time we see the number go up by one, we know we’ve done something right.”