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Talkshow Hands-on: Texting Meets Twitter

Some people would be horrified to have their text messages open to the public, but that's the entire point of Talkshow. The app, which is only available on iOS, allows users to text with friends and broadcast it to the world, letting complete strangers watch as you talk to your friends.

I downloaded the app on my iPhone and was immediately encouraged to follow users from my social networks. The majority of the users work in the press, which makes me wonder if this will have the same fate as Peach, another media darling that fizzled quickly. Once I made my profile and confirmed my phone number, I saw a list of shows recommended for me, as well as a list of currently active conversations.

There were a wide variety of conversations, including a bunch of comedians chatting, two editors from Mashable texting about "The Bachelorette" to a couple of friends discussing Marvel and DC movies. I read through the superhero movie thread, which hinged on a debate about the quality of the modern X-Men movies.

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I couldn't post, since I wasn't a co-host, but I liked the discussion, so I took advantage of the reaction feature. I chose the preprogrammed message "I'm totally here for this," though I could also send a couple of other messages and emojis, as well as a request to be a co-host.


To boost my own personal brand, I started a show about our office called "Tom's Guide Talks!" I invited fellow writer Henry T. Casey to join me, and we discussed projects we were working on. It's just like texting, but other people could see. Henry was enthusiastic about the built-in Giphy support, adding color to our conversation. Kenneth Butler, one of our designers, thought the app looked cool, but was dismayed when he found he couldn't use it because he was on Android.

Right now, there's only a handful of great conversations, and the best consist of media commentary. I'm not convinced that Talkshow is a must-download, as I can get real-time updates on Twitter, but I'll be sure to check it during live events to see what develops.