The future of Clubhouse

I thought it would be fun to think about what Clubhouse will look like in the future. These are simply ideas rather than what I think should or shouldn’t happen. This post has been in the drafts for a few months and so some of these ideas may have already been implemented or been announced as future updates.

Paying the host

Paying to enter a room in the same way that we pay to enter clubs or events is something I consider likely to happen. It could be paying a set amount but it could also be more of a tipping feature where the room is free but tha audience are able to tip if they’ve enjoyed the room.

It would be interesting to see who uses the feature. I definitely think celebrities and influencers would be critisiced for using it because it could be seen as taking advantage particulary if they don’t have much to offer in terms of the quality of what is being spoken about. If clubhouse took a fee per payment, it could become a way for the app to generate money.

A payment feature was announced in April 2021 and creators will get 100% of the earnings.

Room membership

Similarly to the above, I think clubhouse could introduce some sort of membership for a room. This could involve a payment of X amount per month for X months. This could be used for online communities where the person leading gives monthly talks or holds weekly group discussions. It could be used by groups already existing outside of the app as an alternative to Zoom or Teams.

Recording rooms

I think there’s a possibility of being able to to record the audio within the app but I think that this would take away from the appeal and exclusivity. If you can just listen to it later then why would you bother to show up live? I can see there being issues with this such as less people showing up live or people taking the recording and posting it on YouTube.

Some other ideas for this feature would be restrictions on how long you can record the conversation and people having to pay to access the audio. This could be a one off payment per file or implemented into the premium version of the app that requires a monthly payment.

More visuals

Another idea is to add more visual aspects to the app. This could be by having more pictures or allowing for video content. However, I think there is a risk that this would weaken the USP of the app because audio only was innovative and we already have Instagram for visual content.

Direct Messaging

Similar to what is already available on Instagram, Twitter and most other social media. Implementing a direct messaging feature is great way to increase the use of an app, if users use it to communicate with people they follow. Due to the type of app that clubhouse is I think the majority of people use it to listen to people that they don’t personally know so a messaging feature may be of little value. In contrast, for social media such as Twitter or Instagram where people can have private accounts and only follow family and friends direct messaging is considered useful.

Increase accessibility

Lastly allowing more people to use the app. One of the main ways is extending the app to android users which finally happened a few days ago. Another way is to no longer have the app be invite only. I think this was useful when the app was being portrayed as exclusive but if the creators want to grow the app, the invite only aspect doesn’t really help with that. Although I think there are likely to be other reasons to keep that aspect such as collecting the data of how the users are connected

On a different note but still on the topic of accessibility, another feature could be to have audio captions to make it usable for those with hearing impairments. However, I think this could come with some issues if people speak over each other or if people don’t speak clearly the captions may be highly inaccurate which would reduce the experience. On the flipside, Clubhouse app could be considered as accessible to those with visual impairments as they don’t miss out on any imagery like they would on a YouTube video, IGTV or Instagram live.

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