Less than two months after the the DIY podcasting app Anchor underwent a major revision, the service is ready to announce another notable new feature: Cohosts. As the name implies, Cohosts lets Anchor users quickly match up with others who want to talk about similar topics -- ideally, this will help facilitate group discussions, rather than forcing a podcaster to forge ahead on their own. Anchor was originally built as a community of users sharing audio, so letting those users get together to host a show fits with the app's social audio roots.
To use the Cohosts feature, you start by either picking a topic from Anchor's home screen or by adding your own custom topic, which can be as broad or specific as you want. Once the app finds you a match, Anchor basically puts both users into a shared call and gives you a scant 30 seconds to chat before a recording automatically starts. That recording is capped to 15 minutes, and bother users get a copy of the recording once it is finished -- it can be published directly to a new podcast or add as part of a bigger episode later.
If you happen to hit it off with your Anchor match, the app will let you record with them again using a "record with friends" feature. That feature removes the 15-minute time limit that comes with a first match. Of course, people act horrible on the internet, so Anchor is putting some protections in place to help avoid abuse. According to TechCrunch, Anchor asks you to rate your cohost with a simple thumbs-up or down once you're done recording. If you choose thumbs-down, the app will prompt you to tell it why so Anchor can investigate; if someone has abusive or otherwise troublesome on the platform, Anchor will ban them.
Anchor says that Cohosts is available today in its Android and iOS apps, and it's free, like the rest of Anchor's features.