It seems we talked about Clubhouse a couple of weeks before it got tired of most of the Russian-speaking web. The fact is that the recent appearance of Elon Musk in the voice rooms of the new audio project caused an unprecedented wave of interest: on Facebook and other social networks, everyone began to share invites with each other and invite friends to immediately join the discussions in the Clubhouse. It got to the point that top managers of the leading Russian companies began to go on the air, and hundreds of celebrities like Kanye West and other stars of the music industry and the world of cinema joined the broadcasts around the world. Despite the fact that the hype affected exclusively the iOS audience, this was enough to attract the attention of the Facebook team, which – according to The New York Times – began developing similar functionality.
Copy like Mark
Clubhouse is nine months old and already in crisis. Local “harassmentgate” has put on the agenda the issue of the need to moderate audio content – now the team is seriously thinking about storing conversation records in case of trials and user complaints. Another incident is that despite the constant discussion of the project in the media and social networks, the audience of most of its voice rooms cannot come close to YouTube streams or indicators of popular podcasts. It turns out that the average person barely attracts a couple of dozen subscribers and, in fact, finds himself in the situation of another Skype call or zoom conference, but only with a rather low sound quality, and in broadcasts with thousands of participants, he mostly acts as a simple extra.
Even those who two weeks ago tried to get into the ranks of the Clubhouse-speakers are now asking themselves legitimate questions about how to find time to listen to so many live broadcasts, whether it is worth doing it and investing energy in making your content really useful for listeners … While marketers and PR people are pondering the answers, preparing manuals and guides, the social network is gradually moving towards a new crisis.
But even he will not prevent Facebook from “cloning” the project or certain parts of it – according to NYTimes, Mark Zuckerberg’s company is interested in Clubhouse and is preparing to present a number of similar opportunities for its own social platform. These plans are published confirmed two sources, reporting on the relevant orders of the management.
As the journalists noted, this approach cannot be called new. In 2016, the same way on Facebook and Instagram appeared stories and selfie masks, which became a trend thanks to the efforts of Snapchat, and at the end of last year – the so-called Reels – short videos that many remind videos from TikTok’a. So far, Clubhouse representatives do not comment on rumors, but everything goes to the fact that their experience in popularizing audio content is used in third-party products.
Compete like Tim
A fairly aggressive approach to the development of the largest platforms today attracts not only the attention of regulators, who are increasingly talking about the division of the largest media platforms into more compact and manageable projects, but also potential competitors from the IT world. So – by coincidence – two weeks ago at one of the profile conferences Tim Cook criticized business models based on the exploitation of user data. He did not mention Facebook, however, many suggested that it was about this social network.
In this light, Clubhouse and its monofunctional counterparts really look promising. Another thing is that they still have to figure out tasks users and adapt the interfaces based on the dynamics that the team is observing at the moment. Whether there are competitors and viable alternatives for Clubhouse – we will figure it out in one of the following materials, where we will talk about the Audlist social network, the High Fidelity project from fauder Second Life and a couple of other developments that might interest the audience.
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