Clubhouse ditches invite-only exclusivity to boost new user sign-ups
Just recently, popular audio social media platform Clubhouse announced a major change. The app will no longer mandate an invite for users to sign up. While this is good news for those waiting for invites, it could leave many unhappy as well. The platform has also introduced a new logo and app icon featuring rapper 21 Savage's manager Justin "Meezy" Williams.
People who paid for invites probably aren't happy now
Clubhouse was founded by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth and from the get-go, the app maintained yacht-club level exclusivity since people needed invites from existing users to join the community. This even led to black-marketing of Clubhouse invites on classifieds platforms like eBay for exorbitant prices, say as high as $125. We don't think people who paid those prices are happy after this announcement.
Clubhouse says its invite system 'kept things from breaking'
Announcing the dismissal of the invite-only system, the founders said that it "has been an important part of our early history". The blog post elaborated that by adding people in waves, Clubhouse was able to grow gradually and "keep things from breaking" as it scaled. However, we believe that competition caught up and user sign-ups dropped, forcing Clubhouse to stop using the invite system.
Competition from Big Tech social media may have forced Clubhouse
Since similar services (Twitter Spaces, Facebook Live Audio Rooms, Spotify Greenroom, Leher, etc.) from established social media companies began to gather steam, Clubhouse made a bid to keep users engaged by adding new features regularly. Last week, Clubhouse added a direct message feature called Backchannel that resembles Instagram DMs, replete with a message request section and group chats, sans support for images and video.
Clubhouse will gradually allow waitlisted users to join community
Although Clubhouse had reasonable success with Backchannel and the Android version of the app, constantly acquiring new users is key to the platform's success. A spokesperson told The Verge that around 10 million users who were on the waitlist would be allowed to join the community gradually while anyone interested in signing up now can do so without invites and any delay.
Clubhouse backed strongly by marquee investors, valued at $4 billion
The 16-month old start-up already has a valuation of over $4 billion. The company has also grown in strength from eight people to a 58-person team. The app is backed by marquee investors including Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global, Tiger Global, and Elad Gil.