The Rise and Fall of Clubhouse: From Silicon Star to Audio Social Giant & Beyond


How long have you not opened Clubhouse? When the Silicon Stars threw this question to their friends, most of the replies they got were: I have forgotten how long I have not opened the Clubhouse. Like the second half of a parabola, the Clubhouse story went downhill. Although most people have made similar unoptimistic predictions, its decline has come much faster than people think. “It’s been a long time since I thought of using Clubhouse. I didn’t bother to delete it, but I didn’t bother to open it.” But what he didn’t know was that once he wanted to cancel his account, it was not as simple as he thought.

“I wanted to listen to Elon Musk’s seen before, but I successfully registered and found out that he didn’t go up and talk anymore,” he said. He told the Silicon Stars that the other main reason he was reluctant to open the Clubhouse was that his friends around him no longer needed it. According to Clubhouse’s mechanism, in addition to being invited to register, users can only see more group discussions through what their friends are watching.

Once few friends are active in the Clubhouse, it is difficult for users to see good activities when they open the Clubhouse. This mechanism is also terrible for individuals and organizations that hold events. “After hard work, except for the time when the Clubhouse became popular in February, it is not easy for dozens of people to participate now,” he said.

As a social platform, there are not enough friends who want to communicate; as a “zone” of information explosion, there is not enough useful information. On the contrary, listening to others chatting can no longer keep users in the world of Clubhouse. When the clubhouse became popular, Musk never appeared frequently in the Clubhouse and broke the golden sentence.

When Oprah, Keven Hart, and other celebrities no longer frequently participate in the discussion, there is not much that people are afraid to miss. At the same time, when most people have a Clubhouse account and experience the increasingly boring and out-of-focus discussions inside, posting their own Clubhouse personal page is no longer a matter of a bit of superiority.

Most people’s impression of Clubhouse still stays in its overnight burst of popularity. According to a set of user data provided by Business of Apps, it had only 200,000 users until November last year. At the end of last year, the number of users was only 600,000. By January of this year, its number of users rose to 2 million. Until February 1, when Elon Musk, who brought its traffic, came to Clubhouse following the surge of Gamestop and finally made this app out of the circle.

Coupled with its invitation system, once allowed to have an invitation code, enter this app to listen to discussions that others can’t hear, and it has become a rush for people. By the beginning of March, the number of Clubhouse users who had experienced “Musk’s gilding” exceeded 10 million. This is the highlight moment for Clubhouse. From a very niche app to an audio social giant in a flash.


According to a set of data released by Sensor Tower, Clubhouse had 9.6 million downloads during the month when it became popular in February. But in April, its downloads were only 920,000, about 1/10 of February. Clubhouse’s downloads have dropped rapidly since its popularity in February. The number of downloads in March dropped to 2.7 million, and April dropped by two-thirds compared to March. This rapid decline in new downloads makes Clubhouse look like an outdated internet celebrity.

To ease this seemingly irreversible downward trend a little bit, Clubhouse announced this week that it will launch Android, but registration still retains the invitation system. But so far, social media such as Facebook and Twitter have never seen the phenomenon that an invitation code is hard to find in February this year. In the last time Clubhouse became popular, people tended to spend $125 to buy the Clubhouse invitation code. Now the lowest price on eBay is only $1.99.

Clubhouse CEO Paul Davidson said that in the future, Clubhouse will be open to everyone. I just don’t know at that time, when everyone can download, or whether there are new users who can be interested in it. The acquisition can’t be agreed upon, and it’s been copied directly. Although the number of users of Clubhouse has dropped rapidly, it has made the capital market and more technology companies aware of the importance of audio. A few months after it became popular, most social media companies in Silicon Valley are speeding up the cloning of their own Clubhouse. To pursue speed and seize the market, these cloned products even no longer pursue differences from each other.

According to a Bloomberg report, Twitter had contacted Clubhouse for an acquisition before developing a product similar to Clubhouse. However, when the media tried to find Twitter to confirm, no response was received. After that, Twitter seized the time and cloned a similar audio social function Spaces, allowing users with more than 600 followers to use the Spaces audio function to have audio discussions with everyone. In addition, Facebook also upholds its own tradition of “whatever you see is good, just copy it” and stands on the front line of cloning.

Facebook launched a Hotline with an on-site audio room that combines Instagram and Clubhouse, allowing people to listen in and participate in discussions in products similar to Clubhouse. A person can share the clubhouse invite code with his friends 5 times only. Also in the past few months, Reddit has launched the new audio discussion function of Reddit Talk; Spotify can’t help but join the audio force-80 million US dollars in cash to acquire Betty Labs and its real-time audio app Locker Room; for games Discord, the player’s chat application, has launched Stage Channels, an audio chat room.

It is a pity that when these products and functions are finally on the market, Clubhouse itself is a bit outdated. But there is no doubt that the popularity of audio has definitely been fired up by Clubhouse. Struggling to find new growth points. If it is determined now that Clubhouse has fallen out of favor or failed, it is too early. After experiencing its popularity, it has officially completed a new round of C round of financing.

The amount of this round of financing has not been announced, but it is valued at 4 billion US dollars, which has tripled from its valuation only three months ago. This round is still led by Andrew Chen of a16z, followed by DST, Tiger Global, and Elad Gil. The valuation of 4 billion is absolutely affirmation for such a startup company that is still in the open beta stage and has no profit or even any profit model. In addition to the good news of financing, Clubhouse officially launched its Android application this week in the face of stagnant user growth, breaking its limitation of only serving iOS users.

In addition to considering the growth of the user side, Clubhouse is also trying to attract more high-quality creators. If you look back at the development of Clubhouse, although there were various praises for this app during the popular period, in the final analysis, what makes people crazy is the fear of missing the exclusive, instant-on-the-go content above. You can also get a free clubhouse invite code from your friends. Once the person providing the content leaves, the app loses its magic and becomes ordinary.

To solve this problem, Clubhouse has introduced a feature that rewards creators, and it won’t take any money from it. After experiencing a round of popularity, Clubhouse is still trying to move forward and find new growth points that make the public feel excited. But unfortunately, more users are still considering leaving this platform. More and more people began to discuss how to leave Clubhouse completely.

What’s worse is that when people want to log out, they find that the Clubhouse app doesn’t provide them with the option to log out with one click. Eva Galperin, Director of Cybersecurity of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the media. The list of mobile phone contacts available to Clubhouse is not all users’ friends, but maybe their psychotherapists, rehabilitation organizations, doctor liaisons, etc., or even. It’s the people who don’t want the other party to know about their current situation. She expressed concern that Clubhouse continues to obtain a list of personal contact information.

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