Clubhouse Blues

Dawn Southgate
7/28/2021 10:23:00 AM

Clubhouse was launched in March 2020 and it is a social audio app. This means that you can chat with others in ‘rooms’, which can be small or large, and it is a live discussion or for most of us a live listen. 

Initially you had to be invited to join the system which aims to keep a more intimate and engaging feel to the platform.

The only way to access is via your phone and is totally a speaking and listening system – a little alien to us in a world of video. Initially just developed for iOS but now an Android app has been launched.

When it was launched there was a waiting list that, allegedly, got as high as 10 million people.

In April 2021 it was valued at $4 billion.

If you did get accepted then you could restrictively invite a few others, but this week (28/7/2021) the gates are fully open with anyone being able to download the app.

According to SensorTower, “who are a leading provider of market intelligence and insights to the global app economy”, there does not seem to be a rush brewing.

There are also many competitors now available including Twitter Spaces, Facebook Live Audio Rooms, Telegram, Wavve, Discord and Riffr amongst others. The latter is anything from 5 seconds to three minutes of ‘micro-podcasting’.

Time will tell if the $4billion valuation is fair or whether the proliferation of competitors – some that have more features – will have an effect.

Taking a closer look at SensorTower statistics – the latest are from Q4 2020 – there were 35.2 billion downloaded in the year a 20.6% rise on the previous year. Probably not surprising due to lockdowns. The app with the best year on year growth, probably unsurprisingly, was Zoom. The top app (again unsurprisingly) is TikTok followed by WhatsApp and Facebook with Zoom fourth. The results give a category breakdown showing that Business apps had a 134% growth, with medical second (66%), health & fitness (50%) and education at 41%. At the bottom of the list is navigation with -16% growth and travel with a -21% growth!

Top three business apps were Zoom (681m), Google Meet (331m) and Microsoft Teams (200m).

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