If I say that 2020 has turned everything upside down, you are unlikely to argue. The pandemic transformed much of the daily routine. People worldwide spent most of the year locked up and forced to run their businesses from home. Video conferences became the only way to conduct business meetings, and people had to change the way they communicate fundamentally.
The recommendation to stay in a shelter forced people to look more for communication and entertainment online. The lack of live communication and social engagement has led to a boom in the digital industry. While some industries are just beginning to emerge from the crisis, such areas as video-on-demand, live streaming, and, of course, social networks have received a considerable boost in development. It is also worth mentioning that many companies saw potential in social media and started marketing activities there. Thus, they gained a social audience like never before.
Let’s see how the situation has changed in the social media industry because of last year’s events. According to the report October 2020, more than 4 billion people worldwide (4.14 billion) now use social media each month. In comparison, there were 3.80 billion social media users in January 2020. That’s an incredible 53% penetration rate for the entire world’s population. An average of 2 million people signs up to social networks every day.
Social media’s popularity is even more evident when you look at percentage changes for the year October 2019 to October 2020. In that time:
- The total world’s population grew 1.0%, +81 million.
- Unique mobile phone users rose 2.0%, +102 million
- Internet users rose 7.4%, +321 million
- Active social media users rose 12.3%, +453 million.
Nearly 60 percent of the world’s population is already connected to the Internet, and recent trends forecast that more than half of the world’s population will usу social media by mid-2021. Let’s take a look at which social networks were the most popular in 2020.
Facebook remains the undisputed market leader. Its number of users today is over 2.74 billion monthly active users. It’s worth mentioning that the company owns the four largest social media platforms Facebook (the leading platform), WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram. Each platform has over a billion monthly active users.
I must remind you that man doesn’t live by Facebook alone. During the spring lockdown, promising projects emerged, such as Clubhouse, which launched in the spring and is gaining momentum incredibly fast. In December 2020 and January 2021 alone, the audio, social network gained 2 million new subscribers.
Throughout its existence, namely from April 2020 to February 2021, the community of Clubhouse users has grown to 6 million. (According to data obtained from tech writer Vajresh Balaji)
Of all the apps launched during the Spring 2020 lockdown, Clubhouse is the most promising new launch. Why? Let us consider this case in the next section.
The Clubhouse phenomenon
An audio social media that works like a live podcasting app. This application’s peculiarity is that you cannot simply download it to your phone and start using it. You need to get an invitation from someone who is already a Clubhouse user and an iPhone to become a member of the “club” community. Currently, the app is iOS available only. The Android application is still in development, and there is no exact information about its release. Meanwhile, millions of users are desperate for an invite to the Clubhouse, which has stated that the invitation will only be valid for a few months from the date of receipt.
Clubhouse has a well-thought-out promotion strategy. The social network’s popularity can be attributed to the impressive list of world-class celebrities registered with the Clubhouse. Among them are Elon Musk, Kanye West, and Jared Leto. According to the concept of the application, in theory, any user can talk to celebrities, being in the right room at the right moment. In December, the excitement was so great that the cost of inviting the application reached $ 100.
The idea behind the audio-based social network: “Forget the invitation. Just drop-in voice chat.”
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is the audio-chat social network where all communication takes place in real-time and only in audio format. There’s no way to communicate in writing. Platform users communicate in so-called public or closed rooms by spontaneously entering into a conversation in a voice chat. For users not to interrupt each other, and even more so not to insult each other, there are three roles for participants in the conversation: moderators, speakers, and listeners. The latter cannot participate in the discussion until they use the “raise hand” function and are approved by the moderator – and then they will be able to speak.
Most of the Clubhouse rooms are open to all listeners and dedicated to a specific topic, indicated in its name. The Clubhouse talks about entrepreneurship, social media, culture, and politics. Still, there are also “silent” rooms where people search for interesting acquaintances, where users look for new contacts based on the description of the member’s profile. There are also rooms for entertainment – for example, where users ask each other tricky questions, like in the game “Truth or Dare,” but without the second element, and tell funny stories from life to strangers. Users can find the topics they are interested in and also see which rooms the people they follow are in.
Regulations and moderation
People who are over 18 years old can become Clubhouse users. A mandatory requirement for all users to use their real names in the application. But the control algorithm has not yet been established.
Bullying, discrimination, insults, and dissemination of false information are prohibited at the Clubhouse. But the users themselves are monitoring compliance with the rules. Each member can complain about behavior that violates the platform’s rules, after which Clubhouse will investigate and make an appropriate decision.
No recordings of conversations are kept – the social network prohibits it. You cannot pause the conversation so that you can listen afterward. And it is difficult to broadcast a pre-prepared and edited recording – the broadcast is carried out through the microphone of a smartphone (or through headphones).
As we mentioned before, the app is available for iOS users only, and it uses an invite-only model. So now we are going to provide you insights into this voice chat app.
If you consider building a similar app, the list of core features of Clubhouse might come in handy.
Once you access the Clubhouse app, you need to enter your real name and upload your photo to your account. After that, you will be able to choose a room of interest. By default, all new users are muted, but you can unmute yourself any time.
When you open your feed, you’ll see many different discussions that are called rooms. You can see the name of each room and all the people who are in it. Clubhouse was originally positioned as social media for the elite, so most of the conversations here are about business, politics, and networking.
A room is a place where discussions happen. You can view rooms, join existing rooms, and create your own. To do that, you need to press the Start a room button on the screen’s bottom. The Clubhouse suggests three types of social “rooms.” Firstly, these are “open” rooms, to which anyone can join at any time. Secondly, “social” – intended only for those with whom you become friends on the social network. The third type is closed. Only people you choose can get into them. No more than five thousand people can be present in a room at a time.
In a room, you can raise your hand if you have something to say or ask. When you wish to leave a room, you can announce you’re leaving or press the Leave quietly button.
User profiles consist of a picture, name, and short description. Furthermore, a user can add links to their Instagram and Twitter. When you’re in a room, you can check out the speaker’s account and see the clubs which a user belongs to and their invites to discussions, and when. It is almost the same as in other social media, where you can see that person’s a follower/following numbers on their profile.
The club’s feature is similar to Facebook groups. You can join clubs that you’re interested in and easily find people with the same interests. In these clubs, you can view and add members and suggest discussion topics.
New users are not immediately able to create clubs. Only those who have organized a conversation in the rooms three times get the opportunity to register their club. But the club will have to go through moderation, and its approval is not guaranteed.
Search is a useful feature for any app. In Clubhouse, you can search for chat topics and people you want to follow.
Upcoming for you
In this section, you can view upcoming discussions. Upcoming for you looks like a schedule of events, with names of conversations, start times, speakers, and short topic descriptions. Events can be planned and added to the Calendar. A lot of content is produced at the same time, and you can only choose one.
Here is shown the history of interactions with your account, including who followed you. You can find out who just joined the app, the clubs someone is in, and scheduled events.
As in any other social media applications, Clubhouse uses push notifications to improve user engagement and inform users about events, such as when a person they follow starts a new room.
If you start a new stream, all your subscribers will receive notifications about it. And if they start listening to it, their subscribers will know about it. As a result, the number of listeners can snowball.
How to develop a live audio chat app
Okay, now when we’ve figured out the application features, let’s overview what we need to develop an app like Clubhouse. There are some steps to perform before the development process starts.
#1. So if you decide to enter the market with a spontaneous voice chat app, you should understand that developing it is not easy. First of all, you should cherry-pick and decide which professional development team you will go further. We recommend hiring professionals who will build your solution from scratch, guide you through all processes starting with the discovery phase, and end with releasing and submitting your app to the markets.
#2 One of the most vital steps is the Discovery phase. We always suggest our client start from this part. Because the information obtained during this stage will help determine the scope of work, time frame, and plan for the implementation of tasks for the project. It will also help ensure that the customer receives a quality software product that meets the predetermined requirements.
The analysis is necessary to:
- Clarify the goals and needs of users.
- Understand the context of a product’s use.
- Find new ideas for development.
- Understand what users’ expectations are, such as reducing the user’s desire to download the application, the user’s expectations regarding security, etc.
During the Discovery phase, our experts find out the client’s wishes. Then the market analysis is carried out, and the project description is formulated. This approach minimizes the number of changes during the development process. The project’s scope is determined along with other vital factors such as the type of solutions required, features and functionality, the optimal platforms to use, the lead time, and budget.
How much does it cost you?
The basic Clubhouse-like app may cost you $29,000, and this price may get bigger depending on how advanced you want your app to be. To make it all slightly clear and provide you with real numbers, we have prepared a table with the required development hours for each specialist and the approximate amount of money you may need to pay for their job. This table is relevant for the MVP of invitation-only social networking app, so the cost will be less than we mentioned above.
|Job||Dev Hours||Approximate Cost|
Our team of business analysts and account managers are ready to deliver a detailed quote showing how much your project will cost you in an hourly ratio. We emphasize the estimation process to ensure that every feature is outlined before our cooperation’s agreement stage. However, the list of developers and hours of their work can change and depend on the range of functions your solution will have. If you want to get a rough estimation of a Clubhouse-like app, please fill the form below.
Create an MVP
Creating a spontaneous voice chat app is a significant and complex project. We recommend launching a minimum viable product first. Then, you should test it and add additional “nice to have featured,” shipping them via updates. We recommend releasing your product as fast as possible to get user feedback and then adjust it accordingly to suit the end-users needs.
Developing the MVP allows the so-called “fail fast, fail first” to happen. Mistakes enable learning, and without knowing what works and what doesn’t, it is unimaginable to build something of real and lasting value. After releasing the MVP, you might consider adding “nice to have featured” to your product, thanks to the honest user feedback available.
The world has changed, and all activities shifted online. Communication and entertainment also went online. It is hard to underestimate the power of solutions that connect us through the Internet and present the ability to share experiences. They are great for many things, and their popularity will only keep growing. That is why it is a good idea to invest in online audio chats.
You may be interested in developing a virtual networking app, for instance. Statistics indicate two-thirds of employees use social media to communicate with their fellow workers.
While email was the clear leader here, social media was surprisingly high for a work setting:
- Email – 92%
- Messaging Systems (e.g., WhatsApp) – 79%
- Collaboration tools (e.g. Slack) – 73%
- Video calls – 71%
- Social media – 66%
So all you need is to develop a great feature set, find your unique value proposition, wrap it all in a beautiful design and let the people use your app.