You might call Cappuccino the anti-Clubhouse, but the company has been iterating on its app concept for a couple of years — its CEO doesn’t have any strong opinions on Clubhouse. And Cappuccino is indeed an interesting social app on its own. It has been attracting a loyal user base, especially after a TikTok video went viral.
The startup says it is building an app that helps you record podcasts with friends. Many people have discovered podcasts over the past few years. Podcasts let you subscribe to audio shows and listen to episodes on demand.
At first, people subscribe to podcasts because of their interests. But if you talk about podcasts with your friends, they’ll tell you that they like a show in particular because of the hosts’ personalities.
Listening to a podcast is a content consumption experience that feels like nothing else out there. You might watch all videos released by a particular YouTuber, and you might think you know a lot about someone’s personal life by following them on Instagram.
But listening to someone for hours at a time with earbuds in your ears is a very intimate experience. When a podcast works, it feels like you’re sitting in a room with a few friends and just listening to what they have to say.
And yet, chances are your favorite podcast hosts are not your friends.
This is where Cappuccino fits. The app lets you create groups with your friends or your family. Members of the group can record a short audio message — a bean, as the startup calls it. They talk about what’s on their mind for a couple of minutes. The following day, group members receive a notification saying that your morning cappuccino has been brewed.
When you hit play, a chill intro music starts playing, followed by audio messages from your friends. It isn’t just a succession of voice memos — it feels like a relaxing mix of happy, funny, caring, thoughtful messages from your friends. While Cappuccino is a social app, it is focused on your close friends and your family. You aren’t trying to get more followers, and you are not sharing public posts. Everything is private by design and focused on groups of real-life friends. In many ways, it reminds me of Snapchat’s group stories. But Snapchat wasn’t the main inspiration for Cappuccino — it was podcasting.