Arriving to the social scene in 2020, Clubhouse, the drop-in audio chat app, has already garnered over 10 million weekly active users. The platform provides a space to discuss current events across every industry and interest. Many use it to network or simply connect with others who share the same passions.
Clubhouse marks a notable addition to the rise in exclusive platforms. Joining the ranks of Raya, the super selective dating app for celebrities, and Dispo, the camera app that mimics the disposable camera experience (though Dispo has since removed the invite feature).
After trending on Twitter because of celebrities boasting their Clubhouse rooms, the internet perked its ears at the possibility of the “live podcast” experience. Only capable of joining the app after being sent an invite, there is an allure that makes being a part of the action much more exciting.
We took the opportunity to do our own due diligence and find out what people think about the app.
In response to the invite feature, one user noted, “It got me interested. I wanted to see what it was all about.” This has been the case with many, deciding to opt in because plenty of people are not given the chance to. Being told that something is off limits tends to increase its desire. The initial rollout was restrictive to iOS devices, but as recently as a few days ago, it was reported that an Android version is now available in beta.
However, there is a noticeable generational difference between users when it comes to long-term use. Many millennials and Gen Zers have remarked that after learning the ins and outs, they have not returned to the app. “I have since listened to a few talks that were interesting—on social media, on home buying, on food media—but I haven’t gone back in a while because the fact that it’s scheduled (live) is difficult to me,” a millennial states. A Gen Z user continues, “I opened it once when I first downloaded it and I haven’t used it since. I’m not really interested currently!”
On the flip side, some Gen Xers remain avid users of the platform and appreciate the spontaneity of the chats. One explains, “I love the instant intimacy and the ability to quickly meet and get to know very high value prospects. I’ve taken about 20 meetings with people I’ve met off of Clubhouse so far and will probably do business with half of them.”
And while the app has grown to incorporate a wide range of communities, the first folks to adopt it were largely in the startup, music creation, and tech spaces. Since then, those who work in social media, Black entrepreneurs, and business women have taken up considerable space. Rooms like the Creative Executive Officers club and the Influencer Marketing Secrets club have amassed 88,000 and 53,000 followers respectively. Brands are also joining in on the action, with IHOP creating a room dedicated to the sizzling sounds of cooking bacon to attract listeners. Restaurant Brands International (RBI), who oversees Popeyes, opened a room to discuss the company’s post earnings. Kool-Aid, Milk Bar, and Politico are also building their individual platforms on the app.
Clubhouse’s exponential success can in part be attributed to its initial guise of exclusivity. In February of 2021 alone, the app received over nine million downloads. However, this rise has taken a nosedive with only 900,000 new downloads in April 2021. As the invitation-only allure wears off, Clubhouse must find a way to re-engage the younger generation if it hopes to be the next big thing in social.
How exactly should you be including the younger generation on this app? Give some thought to networking and themed rooms. This is a great place to meet influencers to discuss the big ideas across industries. There is also much to be said about the behind-the-scenes scoop. It can incentivize users to stick around longer and return to the platform.
Getting down to it, Clubhouse is just another app that has jumped on the exclusive bandwagon. Labeled as a marketing win, the buzz it generates is too good to pass up. Will the future of app launches follow suit? It may be too soon to tell, but we wouldn’t be surprised if they did.
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