Clubhouse, says it is not bothered by rivals encroaching into its space as its successes solidify it as the foremost platform playing in the audio chat space.
Founders, Rohan Seth and Paul Davison said this while responding to questions during a ClubHouse Nigeria Town Hall which took place on the platform. The founders insisted that what matters to them is their product and community.
Clubhouse launched globally with an audio conferencing app that was unique, exclusive and utterly exciting. Being the first audio-chat platform gave it a truly unique feel. But being available only on iOS and the need for an invite to gain access into the platform redefined exclusivity in the world of social platforms. It was totally a fun place to be.
But it wasn’t long before bigger tech companies started eyeing the platform and seeking to stake a claim in that new space. LinkedIn launched a Clubhouse-like ‘audio networking‘ feature which it claimed will be more professional and not just social as people will be connected using their professional identity.
Twitter launched Spaces after desperate attempts to buy Clubhouse for a price reported to be around $4 billion. Days later, the audio chat company would raise an undisclosed amount of funding which puts its valuation at around $4 billion.
The world’s largest social platform, Facebook, refused to be left out of the tussle for the audio chat market and launched Live Audio Rooms. Reddit launched Reddit talk to coincide with Facebook’s launch of its audio rooms.
Telegram, Discord and even music streaming platform, Spotify also launched its audio chat platform called ‘Greenroom’ which also has podcast features. All this influx has saturated the space as the battle for dominance in that market ensued. But Clubhouse insists it is not paying attention to its competition.
“We are not surprised that others have started adding audio features to their products, but we don’t focus on competitors. Our product and our community are all that matters to us.”Clubhouse founders
Popularity in Nigeria and 500,000 rooms created daily
The founders also claim the social audio app is gaining popularity throughout Nigeria. According to them, Clubhouse has seen an explosion of excitement around tech, job opportunities, Nollywood, football, and music, especially around Nigerian recording artists.
Speaking on its focus on Nigeria, co-founder, Paul Davison said: “Clubhouse is focused on its vision of building an exciting, thriving, creator community in Nigeria and around the world.”
While stating that they lacked country-specific details, globally, the founders said the number of rooms created daily rose from 300,000 to 400,000 to 500,000 over the past month.
With its rival already breaking the iOS exclusivity by launching on Android, Clubhouse finally launched its Android version in May. While many analysts thought it came a bit too late, it didn’t stop the platform from recording impressive growth as its founders announced it has amassed more than eight million new users since then.
This is impressive considering that as of February, the platform has just 10 million users. This places the total number of users between 20 million and 25 million. The average Clubhouse user spends more than 60 minutes each day listening and chatting on the platform.
Direct payment between users to be launched globally this year
The founders also said direct payment between users will be launched this year. While explaining that the feature is already available to users in the US, they said there’s a plan to make it global later this year.
The founders also said there are plans for creator tipping, subscriptions, and ticketing, as additional mechanisms for direct creator monetization.
Clubhouse has always maintained that its guiding principle is to build a platform that puts the creator first. This is aligned to the belief that creators build community, audience, and impact. Thus, as the platform continues to scale, the founders say it is important to align their business model with that of the creators by helping them make money and thrive on the platform.
Clubhouse is a free social media app launched in 2020. The absence of video allows people to focus on speaking with one another versus talking at them. The moderators, who can speak freely, can also call on members of the audience who want to participate. You can tell who is talking by looking for a subtle halo around a participant’s photo. Anyone can start a room. The app also has “clubs” that can create recurring rooms and have members.
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