When Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg join a brand-new social media app, something big is in the making.
The new Hype? Clubhouse. You’ve probably heard it all over the News and are waiting to jump onto the band waggon.
The numbers speak for themselves. The app has reached over 10 million downloads since its launch on the AppStore back in April 2020. And as of January 2021, investors value the company at 1 billion dollars. With over 180 investors funding this app, it has a bright future ahead.
Clubhouse allows users to listen to audio conversations on various topics. With a marketing model based on invitation only, every member of the platform can invite two of their contacts to the growing application. The podcast-like audio dialogues range from “the AI-club” to “Zen sessions”. Paul Davison, CEO of Clubhouse, says the following about the app:
“The focus is on authentic human connection and dialogue, rather than likes or follows, and it’s all using your voice” ~CEO of Clubhouse, Paul Davison
Is this the future of social media? Are we potentially looking at an app that will replace Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with genuine human interaction?
Here are 3 things Clubhouse is doing right and may change the way we think about social media.
#1 Providing real conversations
One circumstance most of the world's population now has in common is a lack of conversation. Throughout the last year, we’ve kept to ourselves in our homes, hoping for better days. Often the time we had available was spent on the internet or watching a movie.
When was the last time you had an exciting conversation about your interests, fears and aspirations with a group of like-minded people?
Clubhouse tries to bring back the reality of conversation. The founders created a massive podcast platform, where anyone keen to share their knowledge with the world can make a “room” and instantly have a worldwide audience. Up to 5000 listeners can join these rooms.
It is also the first social media platform you use without staring at a screen for hours on end. For me, this is a winner. The addictive swiping from story to story on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook can finally come to an end.
Real people use this platform to talk about real problems. Your startup community will give you helpful tips on how to get your finances into better shape. While at the same time, fans of an old music-star talk express their love of his music style.
There is a conversation for absolutely everything. And the fact that you can do it whilst cooking, working out, drafting an email or going for a walk is revolutionary. You can be productive and learn something new at the same time.
In today’s world, where most people have ever-shortening concentration spans, audio is a fancy new world that hasn’t been explored in-depth yet. This might change with Clubhouse.
#2 Getting celebrities on board
How often does Elon Musk ask to have a chat with Putin on Clubhouse?
It seems quite absurd to all those freaking out about the potential leaking of state secrets. But Elon Musk, amongst many others, seems quite smitten with this original app that creates new channels of communication for anyone and everyone.
Clubhouse’ download rate skyrocketed due to prominent tech billionaires joining the platform as early adopters. Now that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg use this app, it gives the creators enormous credibility.
Everyone who trusts these celebrities is yearning to join a platform where they could potentially listen and even talk to the SpaceEx and Tesla founder himself.
But why would celebrities want to join Clubhouse?
Authenticity is the main reason. Like Musk, MC Hammer, Kevin Hart and Mark Zuckerberg want to connect to their fans authentically. Fans love how there isn’t a plan or filtering of permitted questions. People like you and I see the “normal” life of these famous politicians, actors, entrepreneurs, athletes and musicians.
#3 Driving users through FOMO
Clubhouse is currently an invite-only app. Additionally, you can only join if you also have an iPhone. Of the 10 Million signed up, only 2 million have received an invite.
If you’re on Android and don’t have lots of contacts using Clubhouse, you experience FOMO. FOMO will make you buy that iPhone and queue in the waiting list until your friend invites you to join the app.
FOMO is a standard marketing tool used for social media apps like Instagram. When influencers travel the world to take amazing photos in breathtaking locations while you’re stuck at home revising for your next exam, you experience FOMO. You want to be there, go there and have similar experiences.
Often these feelings of FOMO drive traffic to a hotel-booking site, an e-commerce vendor or a travel agency. Influencers earn a small commission in return. Isn’t this a win-win situation?
While both creators and experience-provides benefit from these deals, the potential client pulls the shorter straw. You and I sit in front of our laptops buying trips, experiences or gadgets we don’t need.
In the case of Clubhouse, FOMO creates a considerable amount of downloads from the App Store. Especially millennials dread missing out on the next hype. So they download the app, sign up and wait for a friend to invite them to join the app.
I was guilty of this marketing strategy and did just that. I heard of the hype, searched it up on the store, hit the download button, opened the app, signed up, waited for a day, got an invite from an old acquaintance from school and was in on the game.
Clubhouse nailed it when it comes to spreading the word fast about an innovative new app.
Not all that glitters is gold
The real question is if the positives of the app will prevail?
Clubhouse will need to ramp up its moderators on the platform to prevent misinformation and hate speech.
Clubhouse must stop data leaks from audio conversations for good.
These initial problems are to be expected from a 10-month old startup, but still, need to be addressed.
I am still amazed at how this company made it so big in such a small amount of time. Even if you’re not one to use Clubhouse in the early adoption phase, it is still impressive to see how they are going to continue their success story.
Thanks so much for reading.