Talkshow is a free app for iPhone and iPad that lets you communicate with a group of people... in front of other people. It sounds a little weird at first, but once you dive in you'll find it's quite similar to other public social networks.
Signing up for Talkshow
Talkshow's sign-up process is simple thanks to Twitter Digits, which sends a six-digit confirmation code to your phone that serves as your log-in.
Once you're in, you can link your account to Facebook or Twitter to automatically create a profile, or you can create one from scratch.
Finding people to follow
Like most other social media apps, Talkshow can scan your Twitter and Facebook accounts or your contacts to recommend friends to follow. You can also search for a specific username or pick from a list of suggested accounts. Following others makes it easier to find the shows they're hosting.
Finding and following shows
Shows are what Talkshow calls the individual conversations taking place on the service. You can host a show by yourself or with others (it's much better with friends) and people can tune in to watch the show.
Talkshow's main screen features two categories, For You and What's On. For You is a list of featured shows, as well as shows started by people you're following. What's On is a list of active shows — think of it like TV: "What's on TV right now?"
Starting a show
Starting a show is as simple as hitting the new show button in the top right, inviting a few co-hosts (or going it alone), and giving your show a title.
The iMore crew started a show called iMore Pop where we talked about our workspaces, what phones we're using, and shook our heads in disappointment at Rene for buying even more Apple Watch bands.
Talking on your show
Aside from sending plain ol' text, Talkshow lets you share photos and search for GIFs from the Giphy library. You can also use custom keyboards to add a little flavor like, say Bitmoji, for example.
Talkshow supports mentions, so if you're trying to reply to a specific person in your show, just "@mention" them. You can also react to individual posts by tapping on the heart to the right or left of the post.
We also discovered whilst chatting in the iMore Pop show that the app supports some custom text formatting with Markdown. In essence, adding a single asterisk before and after a portion of text will italicize the text; adding two asterisks will make the text bold.
Interacting with your audience
There's not a whole lot of interaction between audience members and hosts — presumably to keep the trolls at bay. Audience members can tap the heart next to posts to like them, send canned reactions, and request to be invited as a co-host.
Hosts can monitor audience interaction in the show's Reactions tab and keep an eye on how many people have tuned in on the show's Info tab.
Sharing your show
Talkshow's meant to be an app where you not only talk to your friends, but do so in public (with minor interactions from the audience). Luckily, the app makes it pretty easy to share your show with the world.
Tapping the share button generates a link to your show that you can share anywhere. You can even use this link to access a live web-view of the show from the browser. Unfortunately, you can't interact with the web-view — it's just for spectating for now.
If you have a website where you'd like to embed your show, the web-view will help you generate an embed code.
Interview with Talkshow's creator
Speaking of embedding a show, I had the pleasure of interviewing Talkshow-creator Michael Sippey on Talkshow. I quizzed him — in part — on whether we'd ever see a web-version of the app and what makes a great show.
Here's that conversation:
Have any questions about Talkshow or need help with something we might have missed? Leave us a comment or get in touch on the socials!