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Peak of exaggerated expectations? Clubhouse and the audio chat hype

The social networking app Clubhouse was released in May 2020. Shortly after its publication, the new social network made both positive and negative headlines in the USA.

Almost exactly six months after its publication, the clubhouse hype is also in full swing in Germany. But what is a clubhouse anyway? How does it differ from other social networks? Can clubhouse survive the hype cycle? Or will the clubhouse become the next Peach, Vero and Co.? and other interesting people.

“Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations — with friends and other interesting people around the world. Go online anytime to chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about. “

The core of Clubhouse are chat rooms on a wide variety of topics. Unlike chat rooms in messaging apps and Facebook groups, the dialogue takes place purely via audio. So no images, videos, gifs and text contributions are used for the exchange, but the participants: Inside a clubhouse room talk to each other.

Those who install Clubhouse for the first time are asked to follow at least 25 people enough content is available. Clubhouse also queries interests, which are used for account recommendations.

The interests also play an important role in the search for chat rooms. If there are currently no rooms of your own contacts, the search can be used. For example, there are the categories Knowledge, Languages, Sports, Entertainment, Tech, Wellness and so on.

At this point I can only recommend you to leave your own bubble and invest some time in looking for other accounts and chat rooms. Instead of just following the same people on all social networks, take a look around and subscribe to a few accounts from the USA, for example. They are already out of the “this is clubhouse phase” and the focus is on discussions and spontaneous exchange on a wide variety of topics.

Clubhouse hype in the USA has already decreased significantly

While Clubhouse is currently (as of January 18, 2021) in Germany in second place in the App Store and only the Signal messaging app is in greater demand, the hype in the USA has already normalized again.

Clubhouse is at number 65 in the US app store (as of January 18, 2021). That shouldn’t diminish your current interest, but should classify the development of Clubhouse a bit. What a 65th place still means is shown by 61st place on the Amazon Alexa app and 69th place on Uber. But also the first place of TikTok, which has been defended for months.

Clubhouse-Hype-Rankings
App-Store Ranking by Clubhouse: Germany vs. USA

Audio is also very popular with other social networks

As with any emerging social network, the following questions arise: How long will the hype persist? Who will be the first to copy the core function?

The trend in hype has already flattened out in the USA. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that things can’t go any differently in Germany.

One thing has already happened. Twitter copied the core function of Clubhouse. The so-called Twitter Spaces have been around since December 2020 and are almost identical to a clubhouse room. But why wasn’t there any hype about Twitter Spaces?

Twitter-Spaces-Clubhouse-Klon

As is so often the case with new functions, these are first tested with a smaller group of users. This is also the case with Twitter Spaces. Apparently the group of users is so small that I’ve only seen two Twitter Spaces since it was launched. That can now speak against Twitter or against the format of audio chat rooms.

If you look at the current hype, Twitter has missed the function of making more users available. If you think about how long it took Twitter to roll out fleets, Spaces should not be available to more users until mid-2021 at the earliest. But you never know on Twitter.

What you can’t deny Clubhouse is the focus on audio. We have podcasts, voice messages in messaging apps, smart speakers and also features in social networks such as audio tweets. Yes, Twitter is already active here too and that reinforces the impression that Twitter is watching Clubhouse very closely.

In addition, Clubhouse combines audio and live. Anyone who is not present at a discussion on Clubhouse has missed it and can no longer listen to it afterwards. This is why regular formats on Clubhouse are so exciting. Furthermore, the communication of events on and outside of the Clubhouse is important in order to generate the necessary attention.

Clubhouse calls for more attention

While you are on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Co. often catches you scrolling through the feed, but not really concentrating on the content, does not work on Clubhouse. Or the clubhouse loses its added value. Clubhouse demands a different kind of attention. If you don’t follow the conversation, you can let Clubhouse run in the background, but it’s not really fun.

For this reason, the clubhouse will have a harder time than, for example, a TikTok, where the entertainment factor is instant and it doesn’t matter when you use the app. The addiction factor and the high level of user activity are two of the great strengths of Instagram and TikTok. You check the feed or watch stories several times a day. There is always enough content. At Clubhouse it looks different. The app will certainly be opened several times a day, but it will certainly be closed again just as quickly a few times. Especially when there are no interesting chat rooms or you have missed the beginning. The moderation of a clubhouse chat room should not be underestimated. On the one hand to keep the tension over a longer period of time and on the other hand to provide new people in the chat room with a kind of retrospective. But if there are exciting topics in a chat room, the length of stay will quickly increase.

But that doesn’t have to be the case and we can be happy that Clubhouse is taking a different approach and not another vertical video App is.

Definitely give Clubhouse a try (if you have an iPhone). Connect to different chat rooms, look for interesting people and make your own impression. But the fact is that it won’t be easy for Clubhouse. Twitter is already in the starting blocks and we know Facebook, which quickly integrates successful functions from other apps and social networks into its own channels.

You can find more articles and reading recommendations on Clubhouse from Tim Ebner on AllFacebook and Thomas Hutter.

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