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Why’s Everyone Talking About Clubhouse?

South Korea’s PM joins Clubhouse, but will ScoMo?

Clubhouse is the exclusive, invite-only social audio app that has inspired FOMO, copycats and international recognition.

With over a recent spate of eight million downloads and featuring appearances from the South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun and big tech’s poster-baddie Mark Zuckerberg, brands and competitors are falling over themselves to be a part of the action (or steal the action).

Are you in the Clubhouse?

Clubhouse users can tune in to discussions, interviews and conversations between people on a breadth of topics. As these audio interactions are live and not recorded, there’s a real emphasis on real-time engagement.

Some of you may feel like we’ve been here before. The idea of Clubhouse is essentially a big, exclusive talk show radio station in the sky – except it’s cool because its an app and Elon Musk tweeted about it.

Brands and marketers could find its rise, and the established social media player’s rush to counter it, interesting. It’s a big commitment to adapt to a new platform, and Clubhouse’s current invite-only model will lengthen that adaption process, but firms could see a real boost to their engagement.

Especially for those powered by strong personal brands, which tend to do well in leveraging a founders personality and natural draw. For example, Silicon Valley VC powerhouses Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, of Andreessen Horowitz, who are actually Clubhouse investors, are good examples.

Clubhouse is all about the contacts. Anyone can sign up and reserve a username, but unless an existing member invites you, you ain’t getting in.

Clubhouse is growing at a phenomenal rate

From February 1st 2021, to February 16th 2021, App Annie estimated that Clubhouse gained around five million downloads, which is quite impressive given its beta staging.

The big uptick has been attributed to the guest appearances by Musk and Zuckerberg, while we can assume other high-profile users like the South Korean PM have done Clubhouse’s global reach a world of good.

Only 2.6 million of those downloads occurred in the US, said App Annie, which highlights Clubhouse’s global appeal.

The app has been hesitant to confirm or deny those numbers, although, in January 2021, its CEO Paul Davison said that it had two million weekly users. That statement did come before the stratospheric jump in downloads, so it’s not unreasonable to assume Clubhouse has added a considerable number of weekly users.

Facebook and Twitter don’t like it

Of course, where there’s success in the social media game, there’ll be Facebook and Twitter with a fire blanket trying to stamp down the flames of innovation.

The giants are not content to let some little startup muscle in on their world and are swiftly developing countermeasures.

Facebook’s effort is in the early stages of development – but there are no further details on that front. However, with allegations of anti-competition, it may be holding off just a smidge to wait and see what happens with Clubhouse and Twitter’s counter-attack.

With 1.8 billion monthly active users, Facebook would be in a prime position to muscle in on the social audio space and it could easily find a place for it within its ecosystem.

Twitter Spaces is already well developed

Twitter is not as shy as Facebook in that sense. The platform has launched itself headfirst into Clubhouse’s market with Spaces.

Spaces have been rolled out slowly but surely as more users have been granted access to the development, which is being continuously tweaked. The platform has been able to use the bones of Periscope, and this has helped Twitter to launch Spaces quickly, as all that needed to be changed was the format and presentation.

With 192 million monthly active users, Twitter could leapfrog Clubhouse’s closed-off, invited only platform if big brands and high-profile users decide to flock to the more established player.

Could we see ScoMo in the Clubhouse? Maybe, but then again, who is going to invite him?

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