The Clubhouse Craze
Clubhouse had been trending on Linkedin for a few weeks when Elon Musk hosted a conversation on the audio-chat app, discussing the Covid-19 vaccine and interviewing Robinhood’s founder, Vlad Tenev. Now people are dying to gain access to the app, and it is valued at $1 billion. Clubhouse is only available on the iPhone and to those who are invited by current members. And to make things even more exclusive, each member only gets 2 invitations. Clubhouse founders claim they are working on the expansion of the app to make it available worldwide. However, part of Clubhouse’s draw is its eliteness.
As the audio-chat app grows, the creators are presented with a challenge. How will they obtain popularity once the exclusivity is eliminated? Clubhouse will only continue to grasp the interest of users if the creators engineer their algorithms to be as precise as the TikTok algorithms. The TikTok For You page is incredibly specific, a little too specific. The factors that contribute to this level of precision are user interaction, device settings, and video creation. (Clubhouse, pay attention!)
User interaction is the most effective way that TikTok customizes your For You page. What do you look at while you are on the app? Which hashtags are you clicking? What type of videos do you like? TikTok tracks all your activity and then shows you similar content. Clubhouse needs to function similarly, creating users’ explore pages off of the audio-chats they already joined.
The most basic settings on your account and device give TikTok essential information about you. This is how TikTok knows what language you speak and where you are generally located in the world. Clubhouse needs to implement this because although social media needs to connect users globally, they should at least be in chat rooms with people who speak the same language.
If you create content within the TikTok app yourself, they will use your captions, hashtags, and engagement to produce more content for you. TikTok also tracks the reactions you get to your video and uses it to customize your For You page. Clubhouse could mimic this on users who typically start conversations or commonly speak up in chat rooms. If a user is contributing to a discussion, they probably care about that topic. That information needs to be recorded and used to display similar discussions going forward.
Organization is Key
Apps should be easy to navigate because users will not spend time on apps they do not understand. TikTok and Instagram are both stellar examples of organized apps. When you open an app, it should be obvious where to go and what you can do. Clubhouse is not so clear. The format is all over the place, and the explore button is too small. The content is there but not in any specific format. The creators need to emphasize the explore button and organize the rooms.
Once the Clubhouse creators organize the app more and implement better algorithms, it will be a massive social media platform. Clubhouse has the right idea. An interactive podcast or live stream is exactly what a COVID-19 world needs. Clubhouse brought verbal conversation back to people who are alone and in an ever-changing world. And let’s face it, there is always something to discuss, and people love giving their input.