Remember Clubhouse, that noisy social app focused on sound that everyone required to join when they needed a call, but then lost interest as soon as the call-only restriction was lifted?
Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration in the drop in interest, but there’s been a pretty clear drop in mention of the app lately.
But for those still interested in the app, Clubhouse added a new functionality this week that leans in a different way of using the platform, facilitating spontaneous social gatherings and encounters among friends.
More than 700,000 rooms open daily at the Clubhouse. Yes, that includes the big moments you see in the news – but it’s also a lot of cute, small rooms between friends.
So we’ve built a new feature to make casual conversations easier! Regards Wave ???? pic.twitter.com/3A24CBbAxW
– Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) September 23, 2021
As you can see in this video review, Clubhouse has added a new “Wave” option that allows you to signal your connections while you’re active in the app and open up to chat. If they’re interested, then you can start a smaller, private room — a broom closet, if that doesn’t stretch too much a metaphor — in which only you and your friends can hang out, away from topic-focused discussions in the main part of the room.
As Clubhouse explained:
“Here, in the Clubhouse, more than 700,000 rooms are created every day. Many of these are shared moments you know and love, but there are often smaller private moments among friends that bring smiles to faces: birthdays, long overdue breaks, watching a movie at a distance, making plans for the weekend, or just hanging out on a Thursday night.”
The Wave option handles these usage cases, which, much like before live-streaming before, see the audio society now expand into more private chats and socializing, providing another way to stay in touch with friends, anytime — whatever could be perfect for our still locked interactions.
A similar template, in this case, is Houseparty, which gained significant popularity a few years ago as a live hangout tool for younger users.
While the main focus of the live broadcast, in general, was your broadcast, Houseparty took a different approach, which quickly caught on, with apps racing in 20 million users shortly after launch, while he had more than 1.2 million daily activists after only 8 months on the market.
This caught the attention of Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, who bought Houseparty in 2019, with the intention of making it a complementary platform for Fortnite players who also wanted to virtually hang out – see their teammates, instead of just hearing them.
That particular use case was never caught, and Epic recently announced it would permanently close Houseparty in October. But for a while Houseparty adjusted to a key streaming trend that others lacked, by connecting smaller groups as opposed to public broadcasting, and by allowing occasional meetings with friends who were willing to socialize at any given time.
Given this use case, it makes sense for Clubhouse to explore the same, so you can see how that option could be useful, adding more usability to the app. And maybe that will help him build a more specific niche, because even though Clubhouse was an app of the moment a few months ago, he obviously won’t be able to maintain his momentum, and competitors want to take advantage of it in the market, they’ll have to find a key niche – or maybe a few niches to consolidate its place in the wider social sphere.
Spontaneous socializing could be part of that, while Clubhouse is still gaining ground in markets outside the U.S., especially in India, where audio tools tend to facilitate greater functionality due to various barriers to written communication, as well as data limitations that restrict use. videos.
While it’s not a great new thing, and Twitter Spaces looks set to become the main audio social platform of choice, Clubhouse still has a variety of opportunities to explore – and recently hired former Instagram partnership manager Chelsea Macdonald to help him connect with established and young stars and creators.
In addition, Clubhouse is working on a new one audio clip tool, which would provide another way to share clips from Clubhouse chats, which could be another way to create buzz and attract more listeners to download the app.
Can the Clubhouse continue to become a mainstay in the social media space and a real challenge for established players?
Maybe not in the sense that it seemed to some a few months ago, but I see the Clubhouse’s potential more akin to Reddit, with dedicated, passionate, engaged communities connecting in rooms, providing a surrogate, more exclusive conversation space than a larger social app.
If Clubhouse can establish partnerships with relevant groups and upgrade its potential as a more specialized, more focused community space, it seems like a more sustainable path that won’t see the app reach billions of users, but will see a more solid foundation for continued use.
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