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A new free mobile app is truly disrupting the face of podcasting. Anchor launched on February 9, 2016 for iOS users with the intent to change the digital airwaves forever. The New York-based startup is led by co-founders Nir Zicherman and Michael Mignano. The launch of the startup was predicated upon their combined love towards radio. Previously both of them worked at Aviary. A company that was acquired by Adobe

Anchor is the first of a kind in public radio where practically anyone can join or start a conversation. An audio-driven social media network. It is comprised in the form of a free app that can be downloaded via the iOS App Store for iPhone. Conversations are in the form of short recordings that were never possible before. You can discuss just about anything. Either start a wave of your own or join an existing one. Whatever the interest or topic might be of interest to you. When not recording a wave you can listen to other ones or even participate within the conversation by contributing a new wave.

It is actually quite simple and extremely addicting. Take it from me. I have been using Anchor quite consistently and even at this point in time may even be considered as an addict. Yes, I actually said that! Wait until you get your hands on it. If you are the auditory type of individual and particularly enjoy good conversations than Anchor will definitely be a great app to use on regular basis.

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One of the most important factors about Anchor is the substance and value of a wave. They are not intended to be standard, basic replies or audio compositions. Instead Anchor users expect very well thought-out waves with strategic and creative thinking in mind.

How Does Anchor Work?

There are a couple of main core capabilities within the app. When recording a new wave, you get a 2:00 minute time slot to express and share your thoughts with other anchors. Replies to pre-existing waves are restricted to 1:00 minute in length. So, you have half the time to provide a solid response. An audio feed allows you to monitor waves generated by your network and ability share, send, or contribute with a wave response. Much like any other social media stream.

Getting Started with Anchor on iOS/iPhone

First things first, head on over to the App Store. Search for ‘anchor’ or ‘anchor fm’ and should be able to find the app. Great! You’ve downloaded the app and eager to get started. Onto the next step.

Download Anchor from iOS App Store

Before you can dive right in consider a couple of options. Those consist of the ability to Login to Anchor or Listen without an account. Anchor allows guest access for the time being to those who are not yet ready to sign up for an account.

Anchor Account Page       Anchor login page       Anchor guest viewing without account

In order to personalize the overall user experience, I strongly suggest that you sign up for an account. It is definitely worthwhile in having one. Anchor allows for a single-click Twitter Oauth sign up as well to make things easier. This is a fairly painless route to get a new account. Following the instructions on the Sign up for an account page to get yours.

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Moving right along. You have signed up for an account and ready to launch your Anchor experience. Post sign up you should be redirected to your profile page as seen below.

Anchor profile page

Recording Your First Wave

The big moment! Excitement is building up and you’re anxious to record your first wave (your audio recording). Something like that anyway. See the giant red button at the bottom of the app? Yes, that one. Press it once to initiate the wave recording session.

Commencing your first Anchor wave

After you have pressed the red button once you will see the screen above. You are ready to record your first wave! Press and hold the giant red button while recording your wave. Remember that you have 2:00 minutes. Make it count. GO!

Recording your Anchor wave

So, you have officially recorded your first wave and ready to share it with the rest of the world. You should be seeing a screen similar to the one in the image below. If not then you took a wrong turn somewhere.

Finished recording your first wave

Time to edit, tweak, and share your first wave with the stratosphere. Remember though that before doing so the context of your first wave will provide some real value to other anchors on the platform. While it is your first focus on stating something meaningful that will resonate will others that have similar interests. After all, waves are about individual contextual value rather than quantity.

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The following screen helps you prep the wave for publishing. You should have the option to share your wave on Twitter. Therefore, don’t forget to also use the infamous #firstwave hashtag. That should help get you noticed with other anchors and jumpstart new conversions.

When ready, hit the Publish button and off you go into the wavestream.

Publishing your Anchor wave

Exploring the Home News Feed

As I mentioned above, Anchor offers its own version of a news feed alike other social platforms you may be accustomed to. If you are not currently following anybody and nobody is following you than chances are this will be empty. However as you embark upon your community building journey your news feed will become alive. Below is a sample of what a populate news feed might look like.

Oh, and what do we have here? It’s @GrantCardone. The business mastermind whose reported net worth is around $100 million. Nothing like early adoption, right? There are several cool things you can do on the news feed page.

  • Swipe down by sliding your finger downwards on the screen to load new waves.
  • Click on the blue play button to hear that particular wave.
  • Hit the love button to show interest in a wave. Equivalent to a ‘Like’.
  • Touch the red rounded button to reply back to this particular wave.
  • If you would like to follow a particular person that you are not already following then hit the + button adjacent to their name. If already following than you will see a checkmark.
  • Hit the up right arrow to share this wave on Anchor with other followers of yours or elsewhere (other social networks).
  • Touch the ‘Hear Reply’ option to hear responses to this wave from other users.
  • In the upper left-hand corner you can add people to your network.
  • In the upper right-hand corner you can select the audio settings for the app (Telephone vs. Speaker).

Anchor app news feed

Perfect! You’ve got the news feed capabilities down and capable of finding your way around. Always keep tabs on this section to be constantly in the know of what new waves are being shared or talked about within your network.

Using the Search Option on Anchor App

Anchor would not be complete without a search function. This one is quite robust as well giving users the ability to sift through a ton of information. Alike other social platforms within Anchor you also have the ability to explore top hashtags. One in particular that is strongly advised for new users is the ‘Anchor 101’ or ‘#FirstWave – Say Hello’. There are more topics to explore here as well. Click on the ‘See More Topics’ button in bottom right-hand corner to explore deeper.

You can access the Search option by selecting the magnifying glass next to the News Feed at the bottom of the app.

Anchor app search option

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Activity Section

Alike other apps, Anchor too provides a section for current activity. Some of the notifications you can expect to see consist of the following:

  • New followers – anyone who follows you.
  • Replies – anyone who was responded to your wave will show up under the activity section.
  • Tags – anyone who happens to tag you in a wave. There is that functionality as well.
  • Likes – anyone who has expressed interest to one of your waves by hitting that love icon.

Anchor activity section

Conclusion

Anchor is an extremely powerful platform that allows each and every one of its users to fully express themselves. Some of its additional features which were not mentioned above include the following:

  • Embeddable waves – each wave that you generate is encapsulated within an embeddable format available on to view via a url on the web.
  • Sharing – each user has the ability to share waves onto Twitter directly from within the tap. This can add to your social following and/or attribute to meeting a few new followers.

As of the time of this guide Anchor has announced new features to its app. Those are expected to be rolled out sometime in the upcoming week.

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