There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not the social audio app Clubhouse will last, especially as we transition into a post-pandemic life. It’s a really fascinating question that I don’t think any of us can accurately predict what the answer will be.
But, if I were pressed, I would lean toward no, it will not become the new MySpace, and yes, it will be sticking around for the longterm. And, here is why:
- First, and in my humble opinion most importantly, I think tech founders and investors are more savvy and willing to take risks than they were back during the MySpace days. They will continue to innovate, and do it quickly. We have already seen the app’s founders do that in just the past couple of weeks. If they keep that up–– showing that they are willing to experiment, listen to their users’ feedback and quickly evolve––it will serve them well.
- Social audio is here to stay. It is going to evolve as people start returning to brunches, live music and sporting events, but I don’t believe it will go away. Instead, usage will evolve. I imagine a biotech CEO sitting in an airport lounge participating in a social audio chat while waiting to catch a flight. Or, having post-conference social audio chats where the panelists are sharing takeaways with those who couldn’t attend. The possibilities are endless.
- People are craving content and connection. Despite the amount of noise in the world (no pun intended), people are always craving more. And, I believe that will only increase. Good content is good content.
- Easy of use. You can listen to a conversation and learn while walking the dog, or on your run. As long as you have an iPhone, you can participate. It’s a comparatively low barrier to entry . (*At the time of this writing, Clubhouse is only available on iPhones and not android. Personally, I am not a fan of this and believe it should be open to everyone.)
- FOMO. Because Clubhouse is live and not recorded, there is absolutely an element of FOMO. When you can create an element of FOMO to anything, it typically becomes popular, and sticks around. Not the strongest argument, but it’s human nature.