Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Clubhouse is booming. The same goes for the ecosystem that surrounds it

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At Clubhouse, it’s no different. People worked within the limits of the app to make it work for them. For example: there is no way to share images, so some people use their avatar to display graphics or other visuals that may be relevant to a room. There is no way to share any notes or links, so some people add link trees to their bio where more information can be found. Clubhouse does not have the user interface to display saved rooms, so people add red dots, emoji, to the names of rooms that are saved.

Some have taken this type of creative problem solving a step further to start their own businesses. YoYo Club—Based as “Eventbrite for Clubhouse” —gives moderators a way to plan and promote future Clubhouse rooms, silencing the noise of Clubhouse notifications. “You follow people and get 60 Clubhouse notifications every hour,” says Peter Swain, co-founder of YoYo Club. “So I no longer receive notifications from people who interest me. And meanwhile, people walk into theaters saying, “I wish I had known a few hours ago.” Recognizing the need, Swain and his co-founder prototyped the app in a matter of weeks. Right now, moderators can use it to show audience members when they have upcoming events scheduled.

The YoYo Club is currently free, although Swain is hopeful that power users will eventually want to pay for it. According to him, there are already people with millions of subscribers on the platform and an emerging set of influencers who host dozens of rooms per week. These people will likely need premium features to improve their companies, as full-time Clubhouse hosts. He is also aware that Clubhouse is still in its infancy and could easily put the kibosh on his idea by building it natively. “If you want to base your business model on someone else’s platform, that’s a risk,” he says. “Will Clubhouse build what I have built?” Probably. Can I stay one step ahead of them? Probably also.

Direcon, the so-called “Tweetdeck for Clubhouse,” already monetizes its suite of tools, charging users a monthly subscription of $ 50. It can measure the total number of listeners in a room, the average listening time, the number of hands raised and the average “stickiness” of the room. Direcon started out as a tool for Instagram users, but found itself in an already saturated market. This month, its co-founders – a group of five Turkish entrepreneurs – reinvented the app for Clubhouse.

“The lack of information about Clubhouse makes it very difficult to understand the performance of campaigns and we thought it should be developed as soon as possible,” says Buğra Kaan Ayaz, one of the co-founders of Direcon. Already, he says a few thousand moderators have started using the service. The goal is to become “the most advanced analysis platform for Clubhouse”. This could mean either a constant stream of subscription revenue or an acquisition: remember Tweetdeck was purchased by Twitter in 2011, for a reported amount of $ 40 million.

All is not easy for the future entrepreneurs of the Clubhouse. The company does not have an official API, or Application programming interface, which allows outside developers to “plug in” to a platform. Without it, third-party applications like Direcon rely on workarounds for their functionality. When it launched on February 22, Direcon required users to log in with their Clubhouse username and password, in order to access room data and provide analytics. After people pointed out that this method presents security concerns and a risk that users will be banned completely from the Clubhouse, Ayaz says the app has changed tactics and no longer requires people to log in with their information. ‘Clubhouse identification. “All live analytics functionality will remain the same,” he adds. “Our inbound moderation function will be slightly different.” In the comments on Direcon’s blog post and on Twitter, some users claimed to have issues with their Clubhouse accounts. Ayaz says this was due to a bug with Clubhouse, not Direcon; another post by the company was updated overnight to indicate that the issue had been resolved.


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