It’s no surprise that the hottest invite in 2021 lives right on your phone. Yes, we’re talking about Clubhouse. While it’s still early days, we’ve identified pros and cons of this emerging platform.
First of all, what is Clubhouse?
Do you prefer “camera-off” on video calls? Then, Clubhouse may be right up your alley. The app is an audio-only based platform in which users can join “rooms” based on topics that are of interest. Once in a room, members can contribute to the conversation, which range from arts and culture to politics to health and wellness. Specifically, health-related rooms have been created including Health Equity, Healthcare in Colour and Health Startups. Have we piqued your interest? The app is currently invite-only, allowing each user to grant two invites, so you will have to find a friend already using the app to help secure your spot.
What intrigues us
Clubhouse has been installed 5.5 million times around the globe, with roughly 42 percent of downloads in the United States, 16 percent in Japan and 10 percent in Germany, according to Sensor Tower. Influential figures have joined in, including Elon Musk. And, the platform has reportedly raised a $1B valuation, which is roughly 10 times higher than the app’s valuation from mid-2020.
The rise of audio
Audio formats have seen significant growth over the past year and are expected to rise. In fact, according to Nielsen, the total podcast audience is growing at a compound average growth rate of 20%. The big players are all stepping into the space. Twitter has released “Spaces,” which are also audio chat rooms, but unlike Clubhouse, they live forever. Twitter’s Spaces has seen growth, but still lags behind Clubhouse, which serves two million users. Facebook is even rumored to hop on the trend by creating it’s on copy-cat version of the platform. Sources told The New York Times that Mark Zuckerberg has expressed interest in a new platform for audio communication.
Education on a personal level
The nature of the app gives way to hosting authentic, meaningful conversations with audiences who care about a similar topic. This provides an opportunity for brands to educate audiences in a conversational manner, giving companies a human voice behind the brand and access to audiences who are actively seeking out conversations related to the relevant brand subject matters.
What we’re keeping an eye on
Lack of regulation & moderation
Clubhouse rooms disappear forever once the chat has finished. For health and pharma brands, there is currently no way to report or flag adverse events and no control over what users may say or hear. Clubhouse has already experienced backlash about hate speech and racism on the platform. According to the company’s Community Guidelines, “new posts are not previewed by moderators before being posted. Moderators and site operators take no responsibility for any content posted by the community.”
Spread of misinformation
A lack of regulation lends itself to the spread of false information. Specifically, Clubhouse has come under fire about its role in combating COVID-19 and vaccine misinformation on the platform. A Clubhouse spokesperson has said moderation resources is a priority, but has not provided context on what those resources would be.
Fad or forever?
Vine, Ello and YikYak—these platforms all saw a meteoric rise, only to fall just as quickly. While Clubhouse has clearly generated buzz and enticed early adopters, only time will tell if it will remain an evergreen staple.
How do you predict Clubhouse will evolve over the coming year?