MC Lyte’s “Cappuccino” may have been chaotic, but co-founder Olivier Desmoulin is coming in peace with the new Cappuccino app (available for Android and iPhones). This is a new group messaging app for family and friends. But why, oh why, do you need Cappuccino? Especially when there are a slew of other group audio apps competing for your smartphone’s attention.
Case and point, Android users are already waiting impatiently for an invite to Apple’s Clubhouse (founded by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth). Meanwhile Twitter is creating its own version with Spaces. However, Cappuccino isn’t necessarily an app meant for strangers to build and network together. It’s more like family time with Zoom, without having to impatiently sit in one place to talk to each other.
How coronavirus changed the financial game for virtual conference calls
March 2021 makes a full year in social isolation, with more than 511K deaths and approximately 28.4K people infected with coronavirus in the United States. While people are masked up worldwide and staying 6 feet away from strangers, we’re also keeping our distance away from relatives and opting for computer communication. With that distancing came a boost in virtual meeting software: Zoom made about $690 million in revenue by the end of October 2020. Dialpad, the company behind Uber Conference, has raised $100 million at a $1.2 billion valuation.
Google Meet, Join.Me, GoToMeeting, FreeConferenceCall and a slew of others have all made their mark in the virtual conference industry, too. But all of these video and audio conference apps, including Clubhouse, require users to be sitting down in one place at the same time to talk. Whether it’s by phone or computer camera, people have to put their plans on hold and make that conversation a priority. For work, this can be a nonnegotiable. But family and friends, who are even more important than work, have the opportunity to be a little more flexible with that quality time.
What the Cappuccino app offers that virtual conference apps don’t
The Cappuccino “Bean” allows users to create a short audio recording (three minutes or less) about whatever they want: a joke, an idea, a memorable story, a best moment of the day, etc. Then those “Beans” are released to a set of people to be “brewed” and listened to the next morning at 8 a.m. Friends and family can create their own groups, so the entire crew can hear the three-minutes-or-less announcement when they wake up, are making breakfast or even getting ready for work. And considering the boost in online dating, this may be especially interesting for online daters in the honeymoon phase of their relationships, too.
The app also gives users the chance to replay past “Beans” and respond to them. So how is this different from a TikTok video or a YouTube video? First, it’s intended for a specific group to hear. (Arguably, private YouTube video links can be used the same way.) Second, the goal is to not just release the “Beans” to a group of strangers. Third, time is of the essence, specifically the time you’d normally make morning coffee.
If you click “Listen now” to hear someone’s “Bean” when it’s first sent and before 8 a.m. the next day, a prompt will come up to say, “You can unlock this bean now, but … why not wait until tomorrow morning?” Less is more, and the app is designed to give you something to look forward to on your morning commute—from the train or your couch.