Social audio app Clubhouse’s growth appears to stall

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Clubhouse
Clubhouse attracted a whole lot of buzz earlier this year.
Photo: Erin Kwon/Clubhouse CC

It’s not just teen-focused social media apps that face the fickle habits of their users. Clubhouse — the invite-only social audio app that pulled in enough celebrities, influencers and business professionals to make it the most buzz-worthy app of 2021 — seemingly faces the same challenge.

According to a report from Business Insider, Clubhouse is already hitting a hurdle when it comes to growth. After racking up 9.6 million installs in February, just 2.7 million people downloaded the app in March. That number fell to only 922,000 new users last month.

That’s a pretty steep decline, but Business Insider points out a bit of a silver lining:

“The decrease in user downloads signals a slowdown for the social media platform, which had taken off like wildfire since it stood up about a year ago, cementing itself as a Silicon Valley favorite … A Sensor Tower (app analytics platform) spokesperson said April’s user growth appears to have tapered off in recent months but said data suggests retention is strong among users.”

Rise and stall of Clubhouse

The invite-only Clubhouse was valued at around $1 billion at the start of this year. More recently, discussion about a funding round hinted at a valuation of $4 billion.

Clubhouse is a neat app, allowing users to participate in different conversations across a variety of “rooms” with topics ranging from economics to tech. The conversations, which are not recorded, frequently attract big-name speakers like Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

The fact that the app is available to invited users only adds a sense of exclusivity. In a way, it’s a bit like a more focused, more niche version of Discord.

Clubhouse’s continuing high engagement among users is, obviously, good news for the app. But Clubhouse still faces a problem that has beset many social media platforms.

Twitter, for example, remains extremely popular among its user base, but has had flat growth levels for much of the past half-decade. In other words, the people who use Twitter do so a lot, but few newcomers join in. (This could also be classed as the early adopter problem, which the Mac faced back in 1984. That means after a group of early adopters rush in, no mass audience follows immediately.)

Clubhouse must overcome an additional challenge. Due to its high levels of popularity, other companies are keen to try and Sherlock it by offering their own version of the Clubhouse experience. Facebook, for example, is working on a similar service.

You can download Clubhouse from the App Store. However, to gain access you’ll need an invite from an existing Clubhouse member.

Source: Business Insider