Clubhouse wants to come back as an audio messaging app


Once upon a time everyone wanted to go to the clubhouse and desperately needed an invite. Restricting access to the app for podcasts and virtual meeting rooms was part of the hype. However, it quickly declined dramatically. After a huge data protection fine, Clubhouse now wants to come back. As a sort of audio messenger for individual and group calls.


Clubhouse updates the overall look and feel of the app with the latest update. Suddenly the guy with the microphone turns into a yellow waving hand. The new slogan also provides for the renaming of followers to friends: “friends above followers”. This is also probably meant to distinguish itself from other trendy social media apps, where the trend is much more to follow certain people and influencers instead of posting content yourself or sharing it with friends. Classic messengers are now being used for this, almost all of them have introduced status functions – from WhatsApp to Signal to Telegram.

However, Clubhouse does not emulate these picture and video stories, but uses audio. You can listen to the voicemails your friends are typing in the app, one after the other, or you can enter a room that deals with a specific topic. So these still correspond to the original rooms where the Clubhouse was and chat in real time. The difference: Now you can also send messages asynchronously and listen to them later.

Such messages end up in chats. These audio groups can only be shared with friends or friends of friends. “It’s ideal for a nice dinner or house party atmosphere,” writes Clubhouse. There are enough opportunities for private conversations, the new feature is meant more for people to meet new people like in a cafe or pub.

According to Clubhouse, voicemails are very popular. They are faster than a chat, finally you don’t have to write anymore. According to a non-representative mini-survey conducted in our newsroom, the popularity of voicemail actually increases significantly as age decreases.

More recently, Clubhouse had to lay off more than half of its employees. It is not known exactly how many people were affected. In an email that became known it was said that they wanted to work more effectively, it was necessary to rebuild the service. After the pandemic and the related lockdown, it’s harder for people to spend time in online conversations. Clubhouse had previously had to pay a significant data protection fine in Italy, and there were also discussions with operators and data protection authorities in Germany and the EU.



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