Clubhouse is finally launching the Android version – but is it already too late?

Clubhouse is finally launching the Android version – but is it already too late?


It took time – and no doubt difficulties at Clubhouse headquarters – but ultimately a Android version Social Audio Platform is now available, in limited beta for the time being, with a wider launch coming soon.

As explained by Flag

:

“Today we are delighted to share that Clubhouse for Android will immediately begin rolling out in beta. We will start gradually, with the United States today, followed by other English-speaking countries, then the rest of the world. Our plan for the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see, and work to add a few final features like payouts and club building before we roll them out more widely. “

Clubhouse’s Android app has significant limitations at launch, including a lack of options to track topics, the inability to create or manage clubs, and no ability to update your name or update your username in the app, among others. But it’s finally here, which has been a long time coming, and it’s a critical step for the next stage of app development.

Clubhouse’s lack of Android app has become a major obstacle to growth in recent times, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all adding Clubhouse-style audio social options that could end up slowing the potential adoption of Clubhouse Android users. If you can log into all the audio social rooms you want, in the apps you already know – which are currently available on your device – do you really need Clubhouse in your life?

The growing variety of audio-social tools has now made this a real question, and while Clubhouse may have been the originator of the audio-social trend, these new offerings are refining it, in various ways, which poses a challenge. major for Clubhouse because it seeks to capitalize on its initial momentum, and maximize the growth of its audience.

Which is already slowing down – according to data from Sensor tower, Clubhouse’s total downloads fell 72% in March, after peaking at 9.6 million in February.

You can see this same downward trend in the app daily download rankings:

Clubhouse Download Rankings

As you can see, although Clubhouse is still seeing small increases in the number of downloads, the downward trend is clear here.

Much of this can be attributed to its lack of an Android app (although these are only iOS numbers of course), the growing competition within the audio social space, as noted, and the Clubhouse’s invitation-only approach, designed to both improve the FOMO factor and generate more interest in the app, while reducing stress on Clubhouse servers.

Which will still be in place for the new version of Android:

“As part of the effort to keep growth measured, we will maintain the waitlist and invite system, ensuring that every new member of the community can bring a few close friends. As we head into summer and continue to expand the backend, we plan to start opening up even more, welcoming millions more to the iOS waitlist, expanding support for languages ​​and adding more accessibility features, so people around the world can experience Clubhouse in a way that feels native to them. “

This was once a key growth feature of Clubhouse, with its invite-only approach making Clubhouse the digital invitations desired, many even auctioned off on eBay for ridiculous prices. But with more audio social options coming onto the scene, that has now become a limitation – although it also serves a practical purpose, which Clubhouse further explains:

“Earlier this year, Clubhouse started to grow very quickly as people all over the world started inviting their friends faster than we expected. This had its drawbacks, as the load stressed our systems, causing widespread server outages and notification failures, the limitations of our early discovery algorithms. This made us focus on hiring, repairing, and building a business, rather than meeting the community and product features that we normally like to focus on. It was a significant time of investment, which we believe will help us serve the community better in the long run. “

This is a problem that its competitors do not have, as most have already built the infrastructure to host multi-participant video streams, which means that, if necessary, downgrading their video tools to audio-only is a step. backwards in terms of data load, as Clubhouse struggles to keep pace. This puts more pressure on the Clubhouse team to invest heavily in infrastructure to accelerate growth, which they can still do, but as the Clubhouse itself notes, its sudden growth has put its systems on the line. tough test.

And if it cannot open up more widely and maximize its recommendation algorithms, it is at great risk of being replaced by the larger platforms, which are already starting from a stronger position, with a wider reach, better and more personally tailored algorithms, and improved audio functionality. And these tools are updated and refined every day.

Can Clubhouse keep up with the biggest players, even with the arrival of its Android app?

The key probably comes down to two things: creator incentives and algorithm refinement.

On the first, Clubhouse has already announced the first round of finalists for its Creator Accelerator program, which will eventually see 20 Clubhouse-based projects receive training, funding and support to help them develop their concepts. This will ideally help the platform to keep more of its major broadcasters aligned with the app, while Clubhouse is also working on creator payments as another way to create incentive systems to keep broadcasters and their audiences coming back time and time again.

On the second, many users have already noted that even at this point it becomes increasingly difficult to find Clubhouse rooms that match their interests. This will only get worse as the app opens up to more people, so Clubhouse needs to work on their algorithm tools to ensure that every user is alerted to the content that is most relevant to them, in order to keep it active – and again, come back. to the application.

As Clubhouse notes, it’s working on it, while it was also recently added lists of rooms programmed on user profiles and RSVP Tools to help improve its systems. This will become an increasingly complex technological process as more users gain access to it, but if Clubhouse is to continue to compete with its better-resourced competitors, it will need to invest heavily in this element, in order to maximize customer engagement. public.

This is how TikTok was able to stay and become a major competitor in the social space. Because each TikTok clip is full screen, TikTok is better able to determine user interests based on each clip, and the TikTok team has worked to incorporate a range of metrics based on the content of each clip, what helped him. build a highly responsive and highly refined personalization algorithm capable of enticing users and keeping them coming back and scrolling through their video clips for hours on end.

Clubhouse doesn’t have the same perks as TikTok in this regard, but it can work to make connections between the rooms each person visits, how much time they spend in each, who they listen to regularly, etc. Using these factors, Clubhouse can create an effective personal recommendation algorithm, which could further see it become a more prominent audio-social option over time.

But the road ahead is not easy and the Clubhouse already seems tense as it struggles to keep pace.

It can still win, with a dedicated audience and expanded reach, along with engaged creators and a “ cool factor ” that other legacy social apps just don’t have at this point.

But the challenge is significant and growing.

Hopefully the arrival of an Android application, slightly ahead of schedule, is a sign of new good things to come for the Clubhouse team.

Android users can download Clubhouse for Android and sign up now to be alerted once it’s available to you, while you can find out more about the Android version of the app here.





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