With the ongoing pandemic, many of us have turned to social media platforms to feel connected to the outside world. The social media powerhouses like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow for our thoughts to be conveyed via photo, video, or text. But, has something been missing? Enter Clubhouse, a new social network centered around in the moment audio conversations. Think of it as the virtual equivalent of a large conference with many panels happening in different rooms. Others equate it to “if twitter was a podcast you lived inside of” (Jordan Minor, Software analyst). In any case, this concept of live audio discussion rooms is something we have not seen at such a large scale before – and the world is taking notice.
The app that started with humble beginnings started gaining traction during the middle of 2020, being valued at a not insignificant $100 million in May. Fast forward to early 2021, where the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are speaking in rooms on the app, Clubhouse is currently valued at over $1 Billion (yes, billion with a B). This becomes even more impressive when you realize this app is only available on an invite basis, and currently is only supported on iOS.
Despite the hype the app has garnered over the past few months, is it sustainable? Many people have found issues with the app itself as well as the user base. Some of these issues arise from the fact that the app is still in beta, for example the invite only access, the lack of an android app, and the absence of an internal direct message system. Should Clubhouse continue on its momentous rise and come out of its beta form, these are things we can expect to change.
However, not all issues are as easy to fix. One of the major complaints is the over saturation of the dashboard, or “hallway.” Hallways are set up in a way that puts rooms with people you follow at the top, and then goes down the line of which rooms are most populated. Unless you are following a lot of very active users with similar interests as you, you’ll most definitely have to sift through a plethora of rooms that you are not interested in. Because of this, smaller rooms are less likely to be found, being that they are at the bottom of the long list of rooms.
The most intuitive way to combat this is to follow those people with similar interests and keep an eye on what rooms they spend their time in. An easy way to do this is by following key individuals in the rooms you find that you do like. For example, Stella Labs is currently hosting 3 rooms a week – Tuesdays @ 9am, Thursdays @ 7pm and Saturdays @ 8am. We have had amazing success in bringing in a quality audience, so the people in those rooms are great people to follow. Another thing you can do to improve your hallway is to swipe away any rooms that do not appeal to you, so that they won’t appear on your feed again.
Ultimately, no one can deny the opportunity Clubhouse brings for collaboration and learning in such an isolating time in history. We have witnessed firsthand entrepreneurs being connected with mentors and investors whom they would have never spoken to if not for Clubhouse. With this backbone of incredible potential, we see Clubhouse continuing to flourish as more people have access to the app and figure out how to navigate it in a way that provides them the most productive experience.
About Stella Labs: Formerly Hera Labs, the female-focused business accelerator equips entrepreneurs through intensive workshops to launch, grow and sustain profitable businesses. Interactive labs, strategy sessions, female-founder intensives and accountability groups offer sustained support that allows women-led businesses to flourish. For more information, please visit stellalabs.org.