Say Hello to the New Spokn 👋

Fawzy Abu Seif
Co-founder and CEO
September 9, 2022

Today we’re thrilled to unveil our newest product – Spokn Stories - and a snazzy new look. ✨

Spokn Stories is a new way to build culture and connection in a remote work world.  Just like our podcasting product, Stories is tailored to what remote employees want: a fast, human, and async way to stay connected from afar.  

How Stories Got Its Start 

When we launched Spokn, we had a hunch: in a newly remote world of work, leaders needed a better way to inspire and communicate with their employees.  Podcasting was perfect for the era of Zoom fatigue: it’s asynchronous, screen-free, and employees already embraced it in their personal lives. 

Our customers launched podcasts covering company strategy, values, professional development, and beyond.  We wanted to see how employees felt about the podcasts, so we called up listeners from Udemy, Robinhood, Cedar, Podium, ShipBob and a few more.  

A common thread emerged in our conversations: when the employees tuned into the podcasts, they didn’t just feel informed. They felt connected – and they loved it.  Listeners felt like they personally knew the leaders featured in each episode. The authentic storytelling in a podcast felt fundamentally different from a formal Zoom meeting or scripted All Hands.

The employees’ hunger for this connection pointed to a lurking connection crisis on remote and hybrid teams. While leaders got their platforms back, remote employees told us they felt invisible.  In many ways, they still are. 

Their leaders no longer walk by their desk and comment on a photo of a new baby or a recent vacation. When coffee bars, lunch tables, and happy hours disappeared, so did the serendipitous connections with coworkers that could lead to friendship.  Without an office, leaders struggled to show they cared, and coworkers struggled to form social bonds.  

There has been an explosion of software that solved remote work challenges of productivity and collaboration.  But connection?  No software has solved it yet.  Zoom happy hours and virtual coffee chats feel like forced fun - and employees resent them.  Eventually, most companies have given up, putting their culture “on hold” until offsites once or twice a year. 

The Big Question: 

We watched how storytelling in podcasts reversed this sense of disconnection.  So we wondered: could we democratize the magic of storytelling, so that every employee could share and hear stories that made them feel like they belong?

Introducing Spokn Stories 

Today, we’re introducing Stories.  It’s a new way for companies to build culture that’s designed around what remote employees want: async, fast, human way to feel connected. 

We took inspiration from the best parts of Instagram Stories, but added a few important twists:

  • First, each Story has a central theme or prompt
  • Second, instead of a Story belonging to an individual as it does on Instagram, on Spokn, a Story belongs to an entire group - whether that’s a team, and ERG or even the whole company
  • Anyone in that group can add a 30 second clip in video or audio to the same Story

So how can companies use Spokn?

Stories recreates the warmth of in-person exchanges and makes important company rituals more vibrant for remote employees:  

  • Recognize Success with Wins, Shoutouts, and Kudos Stories 
  • Celebrate Milestones with Stories on Birthdays, New Hires, Promotions, and Anniversaries
  • Bring Social Slack Channels to Life with Pets, Books, Foodies, Kids and Travel Stories
  • Recognize Awareness Months with Stories on Black History Month, Pride, Women’s History Months, Hispanic Heritage Month and more
  • Spark Connections with unique “watercooler” prompts that help teammates get to know each other on a personal level

Why Should Leaders Care? 

For over two years, employees have felt isolated and invisible, struggling to build the friendships that made work meaningful. Stories doesn’t just make it easy for these employees to spark connections; Stories makes it far easier for leaders, too.  With Stories, leaders can get to know their employees, recognize their success, and help them feel seen. All it takes is a 30-second clip. 

Just like our podcasting product, Stories is purpose-built for remote and hybrid teams where async, human interactions are key.  At a time when many companies put their community ‘on hold” until annual offsites, Stories and Podcasts on Spokn enable companies to build a vibrant “Culture HQ” that thrives year-round.  

One More Thing…

To celebrate this next stage for Spokn, we’re elevating our brand, too.  Our new logo, colors, illustrations, and website capture the vibrant joy and belonging that we hope Spokn can spark for our customers.  Read more about the new brand here.

What’s Next

Stories is the first of many exciting releases that you’ll see over the next few months.  Stay tuned for updates that create deeper connections between employees, bring vibrant company Stories to job seekers, and more.  

We would love for you to be a part of our own Story.  If you’re interested in seeing Stories for yourself, or want to learn what’s in store, please let us know

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