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Should Smule allow “EMPTY” Channels & Internal Private Messages to NON VIP members?


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LGFITNESS

I’ve been a Smule member for about 4 years and have greatly enjoyed using the singing app to SING!  

Along the way, I’ve been fortunate and blessed to meet many awesome folks from all over the world.  Some have become “regular” singing partners of mine and obviously, I’ve joined them and others in my singing partnership with them.   It’s been truly far more than I ever expected...I mean, to the point of having a singing partner faithfully create birthday group collaborations every year during my birthday while inviting many other kind and supportive members, who join in to sing and celebrate my special day!!!!???  This was a lovely surprise and beyond touching my heart, I find myself having a blast while singing and even “dancing with perfect strangers” from all over the world!!!

I try my best to reciprocate and join their own birthday group collaborations in order to celebrate “perfect strangers birthdays”!! LOL 😂 We eventually become better acquainted through singing, which is just one awesome side of being a Smule member...but birthday group OC’s??  That’s certainly not something I ever expected!  You have no choice but to have fun! LOL 😂 

On the other hand, being the friendly “natural communicator” that I am, I guess I was bound to eventually come across with the “dark side of Smule”.  This has to do with folks who open Smule accounts for purposes other than CREATE MUSIC. 

While we’re free to ignore messages from people we’re not connected with within Smule, there are plenty honest folks who use the “Other” mail folder method to reach out to folks who aren’t their followers.  I get plenty messages from people I don’t follow and often times, they aren’t my followers.  May of those folks are non-VIP members.  But not all who reach out from outside our inbox are non-VIP’s...some are definitely VIP members! 

Many folks outside our “following” Smule networks reach out for legitimate, innocent, and appropriate reasons related to our or their SMULE MUSIC ACTIVITIES!  Some reach out from the “Others” mail folder in order to invite me to join their collaborations, to share their own solos and group recordings with me, or other things of “music nature”.   

On the other hand and unfortunately, there are those who use the “Others” mail folder for purposes that have NOTHING TO DO WITH MUSIC!  

I often get messages from members who are in Smule in order to solicit and engage in one-on-one chats.   Often times, they’re non-VIP members but I’ve also encountered VIP members who have no music activity in their Smule channels.  

Seriously, who cares to pay for a singing app membership while having zero intentions to sing or create music recordings??  Well, the answer we find within Smule: LOTS OF PEOPLE!  

Those folks often start out their unsolicited and unwanted greeting through messages such as Hi. How are you?, Hi, Hello, and one of “my favorites”: Would you like to be my friend?  😳

I’m not a mean person and I can’t possibly answer “No, I wouldn’t” to this type of question...instead, I feel I’m given no choice but to ignore a lot of messages in my “Other” mail folder...I’ve tried engaging in some of those “Hi, how are you?” type of conversations from people who don’t use Smule to sing and not surprisingly, it always progresses to where THEY take it...and no, it’s never a good thing!  So “empty channel” folks can say “hi” as much as they want...I made a decision to stay away from it...because it doesn’t make any sense for anyone to be in Smule while having ZERO participation or even no interest in using the app to MAKE MUSIC! 

Many Smule channels have ZERO recordings and no other type of activity there.  No favorite songs. No song uploads.  No livestream recordings. NOTHING!  

By now, you know that I call such accounts “empty Smule channels”...because that’s what they are!  

Those are obviously people who open Smule accounts for purposes other than what the SING app was created and designed for, which is to SING...or to create music through playing instruments and uploading songs for others to create music by making use of song backing tracks.  

While I absolutely love Smule and feel they do a great job providing us with a very good “cyber karaoke” platform experience and while their fairly small numbered staff take care of serving millions of people through their rather timely and effective Smule technical and personal customer support, there’s no question that Smule lacks a certain level of business standards and perhaps even a lack of creating fair criterias and opportunities.  

However, it is the Smule account policies that makes Smule a platform and social media that’s rather open and vulnerable to all the “cyber vultures”, menaces, and predators out there.   

At the risk of stating the obvious, I’ll say that the purpose of Smule is to CREATE MUSIC!  In other words, Smule was created to facilitate singing and to make karaoke a more attainable and enjoyable experience.   No doubt that despite the many technical “mishaps” the creators of Smule have absolutely achieved much and I’m sure far beyond their own expectations.  As far as the “technical mishaps”, as a former business owner myself, I feel we must be fair to Smule because all good business owners go through learning, perfecting, and growing within their own fields.  Smule has been doing just that...they’re great and effective in certain areas but leave room for improvement in other areas. 

But I’ll digress back to my point:  Whether we use it to sing, play instruments, and/or upload songs, Smule is a KARAOKE PLATFORM!  Therefore, I see no reason why anyone should be allowed to open Smule accounts for purposes other than CREATE MUSIC and SHARE PERSONAL MUSICAL TALENTS!  

There’s no question that connecting with people is a natural “byproduct” of engaging in ANY social media platform, including karaoke/singing apps!  While unrealistic, it’d be great if our social media experiences were always positive, but even when it’s not, as far as Smule goes, all of it should involve MUSIC!  

As nice as 100 complimentary songs are, there are way too many people opening non-VIP Smule accounts only to prey on those who are honest non VIP as well as honest and established VIP members.  

I personally feel it shouldn’t be difficult for Smule to create certain requirements and boundaries that would not only protect legitimate members but would also protect and promote their business!  

Such requirements should apply to all new member, whether non-VIP or VIP.  

To begin with, all non-VIP members should have NO access to internal private messages, PERIOD!  They should be able to comment within recordings and should be able to share their recordings outside the platform...but not access internal private messages!  

Think about it!  Not only would this broaden the safety of honest established members, but it’d also be a great motivator for people to join Smule VIP membership in order to experience and enjoy the perks that only VIP members have access to!  

If someone is there for anything other than create music, do you think they care whether non-VIP Smule members are limited to some audio filters and video effects? No way!  Audio filters and video effects only matter to those who ACTUALLY SING AND RECORD VIDEOS!  

In my opinion, internal private messages should be limited to VIP members only and inactive Smule channels (accounts) with no content should only remain for a max of 2 to 4 weeks from the time one opens a new Smule account!  

I don’t see any logic, wisdom, or sense in Smule allowing folks to open accounts for purposes other than CREATE MUSIC while allowing members to keep inactive channels (with no music content) for unlimited time and while they use such accounts to solicit and engage established Smule members.  

Some accounts have been there for years while showing NO MUSIC activity whatsoever!   

How do I know? I have a cousin and a friend who, not at my request, simply opened Smule accounts to “follow me” while they never intended to sing...and they never do!  I know them! They’re both decent, responsible, honest ladies who are married with children thus they had no ill intentions for opening Smule accounts.  However, in four years, they’ve never uses their Smule accounts...tell me, what’s the point? I’m not concerned about the number of followers I have there!  I only go there to sing and have fun!  Having a Smule account for no purpose completely defeats the point of Smule!  The problem isn’t just “defeating the point”...worse than that is the fact that this gives room for dishonest folks to enter Smule and to remain there at not cost to them...however, there’s a price Smule pays for allowing such thing.  

By allowing this type of thing, Smule has literally encouraged and invited a lot of unwanted inappropriate behaviors and activities within the singing app.  It’s pretty obvious that such thing only serves to hinder and spoil experiences within the app and therefore, to hinder and hurt the business! 

Smule has the authority and the ability to set restrictions and to freeze as well as terminate all inactive accounts! 

I mean, seriously...what’s the purpose of opening a Smule account besides CREATING AND ENGAGING THROUGH MUSIC? 

No one can avoid inappropriate activities in social media and social platforms!  

However, allowing menaces and predators to use the number one Singing app in order to prey on its honest, legitimate, established members is in my opinion a bad move and misake what makes absolutely no sense to those aspiring for offer respectable, trustworthy, high standard, good quality, effective, and safe online services!  

I personally feel that two weeks is plenty time for one to start using a new Smule account in order to CREATE MUSIC through singing solos, playing instruments, uploading songs, and/or joining others who do the same!  

As much as I hate to say it, in part, Smule has become an “underground platform” for those seeking to pick up, solitic, recruit, stalk, bully, and perhaps even meet and date Smule members!    

Again, I have nothing against connecting with people online, especially through music!  

As long as folks use media platforms for its intend purposes and people are wise to practice prudence and safety precautions, I think it’s great when people are able to meet, make friends, or even fall in love through social media platforms! 

After almost 20 years of being happily married to the love of my life, whom I met online, I know that online connections can be a true blessing.  At the same time, social media platforms can also represent and cause disastrous and painful personal experiences, especially where predators and dishonest folks are free to engage honest and naive innocent folks!  

It’s awesome to connect with people all over the world from the comfort of our homes.  But open a karaoke singing/music app to literally prey on its members?  Such thing is wrong, dangerous, and it creates a lot of unnecessary harmful liabilities to both online businesses and its honest members!    

Smule has what it takes to close its doors to at least a good chunk of cyber predators who find in Smule an easy way to prey on others at no cost to them while holding ZERO MUSIC CONTENT in their Smule channels!  

Question: apart from those who are Smule owners, administrators, and their families, how do Smule members who have NO MUSIC content in their channels manage to have thousands of followers?

To me, the answer is simple: they engage other Smule members through internal private messages, namely, one-on-one chatting, and through commenting on their music recordings!  

When we start getting messages from people who are out to stalk and lure us into believing that they’re there to sing and we find that such isn’t true, the app becomes a rather uncertain, perhaps even uncomfortable and eerie “place to be”! 

Like any decent social media platform, Smule has safety guidelines and they give us the option to report suspicious and inappropriate activities and to block other members, which sadly seems to work as a “one way street” function because we’re unable to block those who have blocked us.  Whoever blocks a member first gets “the better hand”.  

With all these options, who on earth cares to report folks just because they have no music content in their Smule channels and just because they send unsolicited “how are you?” and other ‘break the ice and engage in conversation’ type of messages???  

Smule support would only reply to such thing by saying “that’s not inappropriate behavior within Smule”!  Duh!  Sadly, that’s exactly how dishonest predators or simply those who are “looking for a date” or “looking for cyber companions” find room to behave inappropriately and to use apps for purposes other than it’s made and meant for!  

It’s absolutely true that predators find it rather easy to go as far as lie, verbally abuse,  manipulate others, and even commit crimes, such as stalk and steal through social media platforms, which includes karaoke/singing apps!   

While we can and most of the time should ignore messages from folks we don’t follow, it’s rather difficult to connect with legitimate and honest Smule members while ignoring their messages for fear of coming across with messages from dishonest people who are free to be there for their own personal agendas when it’s something other than music, which explains why they absolutely NO music recordings, song uploads, or any type of music content in their Smule channels!  

Whether VIP or non-VIP, I say it’s time for Smule to “clean up its own house” by putting an end to all Smule accounts that have been there with ABSOLUTELY NO MUSIC activity or content in it from the time it was opened! 

I could be wrong but I’m guessing that most “empty Smule channels” aren’t paid memberships to begin with.  If that’s the case, Smule has nothing to lose rather much to gain by closing accounts with no music content in it!  

What if it’s a VIP member who has no content in his or her Smule channel?  

I feel there even worse than non-VIP members who have no content in heir channels!  Why would anyone pay to have a karaoke singing app membership for something other than singing, playing musical instruments, or upload songs to it?? 

The loss represented by folks who join Smule to prey on its members is that such people are doing a great job at giving Smule a bad name!  So in reality, people who are using Smule for purposes other than create music, especially those who engage in inappropriate behaviors, are actually causing Smule to lose honest and decent established members while keeping prospective members hesitating whether they should or should not join Smule!  

I’ve read from people who have literally cancelled their Smule memberships and closed their Smule accounts simply because they no longer felt comfortable with all the unsolicited messages they received from folks who NEVER SING OR CREATE ANY TYPE OF MUSIC THERE!   

Yes, offer 100 songs for free to those who wish to open new accounts.  That’s pretty awesome and fair! We should always try apps before deciding whether or not we wish to join their paid memberships. Besides my passion for music and singing, having the option to try Smule for free was part of what “got me” to join Smule VIP membership. 

Nevertheless, songs in Smule serve for THREE purposes only:

TO BE SUNG; TO BE PLAYED/ACCOMPANIED BY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT; AND/OR BE SHARED WITH OTHERS!  That’s it!  

For those who truly love music, it doesn’t take but a couple minutes or a few hours (perhaps a max of 2 or 3 days!) for us to start recording in Smule!  Before we know it, we’ve recorded 100 songs within DAYS of opening our new non VIP Smule accounts!!!  I actually thought it’d take me a couple months to go through 100 songs! It was more like 3 to 4 weeks...if that...I was like “Nah! There’s no way I’ve sun 100 songs this fast...have I??” LOL 😂  Actually, when I considered my “bloopers” and deleted recordings, I’m pretty sure I extrapolated my 100 free songs.  I think Smule folks were just being nice and patient about my procrastinating to join VIP membership!  LOL 😂 

People who simply wish to watch and listen Smule singers sing can browse YouTube! There are TONS of Smule singers on YouTube!  I’m one of them...lol...

Smule should have different policies and methods to freeze long term inactive accounts and to permanently close accounts that have no music content in it!  

It’d also be nice if VIP members had the option to freeze our Smule channels at our own discretion so people wouldn’t go there while we take breaks from singing and therefore, from using the app. Perhaps, they could put up a minimum freeze account time, such as a week or two...I just feel that should be an option...it can become an inconvenience when I stay away from singing for a while and I go back to Smule in order to sing again only to find myself spending several hours just reading my notifications and responding to messages and invitations.  That’s when I say “So much for singing today...” LOL 😂 

Once again, and no offense to honest non-VIP members, I personally feel internal private messages should be limited to VIP members only!  

Moreover, besides the folks who own and run Smule, I feel there should be ABSOLUTELY NO EMPTY SMULE CHANNELS, especially after about 2 to 4 weeks from the time a person opens a new Smule account and this should be true for both non-VIP and VIP members!  

I don’t know about you but to me, this is a “no brainer” that should’ve been a business rule of thumb from the very first day they launched the Smule singing app platform!  

Best wishes for happy singing to all of you!!! 

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cl00bie
8 hours ago, LGFITNESS said:

But I’ll digress back to my point:  Whether we use it to sing, play instruments, and/or upload songs, Smule is a KARAOKE PLATFORM!  Therefore, I see no reason why anyone should be allowed to open Smule accounts for purposes other than CREATE MUSIC and SHARE PERSONAL MUSICAL TALENTS!  

Allow me to "Devil's Advocate" for a minute.  If I go to a bar to participate in Karaoke (or on board a cruise ship which I did last time), the majority of people who come in don't sing.  They like to listen to others singing.  I'm sure there are some people here who like to do that.  To encounter new talent and listen to them.  There might even be record label scouts who don't record, but just come to listen.  So forcing them to record a song (which you can get around by reciting green eggs and ham until you reach the threshold to "save early") might not only be overly restrictive, but counter-productive.

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LGFITNESS
Posted (edited)

While you make a good point, I feel that there are two sides to counter-productivity in allowing folks to open Smule accounts for something other than sing or play instruments... The side that seems to “weigh more” in such “counter-productivity” within Smule is far from being record label scouts...

Considering that Smule has 52 million active members spread all over the world, out of which there’s a large amount of talented folks singing and playing instruments within Smule platforms, if people were there to actually “scout for talents”, I trust we’d see a whole lot more news involving headlines such as “Smule singer debuts as a signed contract artist”.  

While being overly restrictive can be counter-productive, when there’s a massive amount of folks preying on others rather than scouting for talents, restrictions don’t only serve to protect legitimate singing members but it also serves to protect Smule’s business and its reputation.    

Record label scouts don’t start out conversations to solicit anything beyond musical talents.  In my 4 years as a Smule VIP member, that’s not quite what I’ve observed from members who have zero recordings in their Smule accounts.

While I’m not saying there aren’t any talent or record label scouts within Smule, I doubt they come close to outnumbering those who are there to solicit, prey, and bully other Smule members.  

Furthermore, if there are record label scouts within Smule, I’m yet to see or listen to famous “hit pro singers” who came out of singing in Smule.  By “hit pro singers”, I don’t mean the number of hearts and followers one gets within Smule, nor do I mean those who have “verified” Smule accounts. 

Perhaps Smule could come up with a strategy to allow record label scouts to search and recruit talents within Smule without having to open its doors to bullies, solicitors, and other folks who prey on Smule members. 

Thanks for your comment!! 

Edited by LGFITNESS
typo
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