Is the much-hyped, exclusive social media platform Clubhouse over before it really solidified a place in the social media sphere? Some observers seem to think so and they point to Twitter Spaces as the platform that blew Clubhouse down.
Social media users once scrambled to get an invite to join Clubhouse. The mad rush resulted in more than 500,000 rooms being created daily, according to Clubhouse.
By 2021, Clubhouse attracted millions of dollars of venture capital including from the people at renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Medium reported.
Around mid-February, they reached 10 million users on their platform, and it was still only available on iPhones. Later in 2021, Clubhouse expanded to Android users.
Clubhouse’s initial popularity was due, some said, to its marketing to Black social media users, who tend to be early adopters.
But now it seems, Clubhouse is no longer the talk of social media and it’s no longer exclusive. In July of 2021, Clubhouse ended its once invite-only system and opened the app up to everyone. The platform’s popularity went down despite being open to more people.
As of Aug. 14, Clubhouse was the 35th most popular social networking app in the App Store. “It’s slightly more popular than dating apps Grindr and OkCupid, and slightly less popular than Wink and Tagged,” Medium reported.
So what happened? Twitter Spaces entered the Clubhouse market sphere.
In May, Twitter went live with Spaces, which allows users to join virtual rooms to take part in real-time audio conversations with other users. Twitter began testing Spaces in November 2020, and it got glowing reviews from users. On May 3, it rolled out the feature globally to iOS and Android Twitter users who have 600-plus followers.
Even Naithan Jones, who was working with Clubhouse investor Andreessen Horowitz and was heavily involved in hyping up the platform and attracting celebrity users, seems no longer hyped about Clubhouse. He left the investor and tweeted his exit.
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With enthusiasm waning and Twitter Spaces causing pressure, Clubhouse is on the defense. It has released a number of new features to lure users. Clubhouse announced a slew of new updates. Most of the updates address previous limitations with the platform to make rooms more discoverable and help creators expand their reach, Android Central reported.
The social audio platform is now allowing users to record a room for external sharing with a feature called Replays. Other new capabilities include creating a 30-second shareable clip, a universal search feature, and spatial audio for Android.
Then there’s the new Clubhouse’s Creator First program, an initiative where Clubhouse offered creators a stipend to make 12 episodes of a live audio program. But this offering isn’t wowing critics.
“There’s no accurate ad targeting, hosts are doing host-read ads or sponsored rooms featuring brand guests, and the best way to determine sponsors’ ROI comes in the form of promo codes or affiliate links on external platforms. Plus…Clubhouse creators aren’t receiving detailed analytics on their shows, nor are they given any demographic information about their listeners,” The Verge reported.