Followups: In Da Clubhouse' s live audio and vertical social

Anthony Bardaro
6 min readMar 5, 2021

The following highlights were provided by Annotote: Don’t waste time and attention, get straight to the point. All signal. No noise.

If you’re interested in the voice interface start here

by Annotote TLDR 2018.12.27

The Gutenberg Parenthesis: Oral Tradition and Digital Technologies

by Thomas Pettitt (via MIT Comparative Media Studies) 2010.04.14

Is our emerging digital culture partly a return to practices and ways of thinking that were central to human societies before the advent of the printing press? […]

The concept of a “Gutenberg Parenthesis” — formulated by Prof. L. O. Sauerberg of the University of Southern Denmark — offers a means of identifying and understanding the period, varying between societies and subcultures, during which the mediation of texts through time and across space was dominated by powerful permutations of letters, print, pages and books. Our current transitional experience toward a post-print media world dominated by digital technology and the internet can be usefully juxtaposed with that of the period — Shakespeare’s — when England was making the transition into the parenthesis from a world of scribal transmission and oral performance.

The Era of Audio Creators Has Arrived

by The New York Times (NYT) 2021.03.04

A new company called Audio Collective has launched to help build businesses on Clubhouse as brands rush to leverage the platform…

Some creators feel that the app is underselling them. When a person signs up for Clubhouse, they are prompted to follow the app’s suggested users; many of those users are investors in the app and their close associates. Audio Collective’s aim is to help elevate creative voices…

Creators from Audio Collective say they view themselves as part of a larger shift toward independent work, following in the footsteps of Instagram influencers, YouTubers, TikTok stars and Twitch streamers…

Clubhouse hits escape velocity in Germany

by Dino Becirovic (Memos Substack) 2021.03.04

Clubhouse is the fastest-growing social network to emerge from the West in this past decade… It took Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter 29 months, 15 months, and 21 months respectively to reach 8 million monthly downloads on mobile. Clubhouse has done so in less than 12 months… it’s also a rare example of a social product that is synchronous, public by nature, and centered around real user identities…

Upwards of 10% of users contribute on live audio platforms (speaking and/or hosting rooms) compared to <1% of users creating on YouTube and <2% of users streaming on Twitch…

As we’ve seen with Twitter Spaces, it’s likely that existing platforms will layer on audio as a new feature rather than launch a standalone product… [It] will be subpar relative to Clubhouse given the limited real estate it can consume. Notably, Twitter Spaces today lacks presence and discovery, which are two of the most powerful drivers of synchronous interaction…

If [Clubhouse] can cross the 50 million MAU ceiling (which few social products have achieved) before any serious competition emerges, it will be impossible for anyone to displace them.

Clubhouse says it won’t require access to users’ phone contacts anymore and announces a creator accelerator program

by The Verge 2021.03.14

The accelerator will accept 20 creators… It’s also added some product features that users have been asking for, including link sharing and language filtering. The app also won’t require access to users’ phone contacts anymore, now, users can invite new people to the platform directly by using the person’s phone number.

Spotify launches its live audio app and Clubhouse rival, Spotify Greenroom

by TechCrunch 2021.06.16

Spotify Greenroom [is] a new mobile app that allows Spotify users worldwide to join or host live audio rooms, and optionally turn those conversations into podcasts. It’s also announcing a Creator Fund which will help to fuel the new app with more content in the future.

The Spotify Greenroom app itself is based on [acquisition] Locker Room’s existing code. In fact, Spotify tells us, current Locker Room users will see their app update to become the rebranded and redesigned Greenroom experience, starting today.

Interview: Marc Andreessen on a16z’s venture investments in Clubhouse

by Noah Smith (noahpinion) 2021.06.22

Clubhouse is the Athenian agora come to life, globally. I mean that seriously. Clubhouse is the first venue for people anywhere in the world to come together in groups to talk — not metaphorically, but literally — about any topic they can imagine. It’s so striking that in our primarily textual technological world, people are instantly enthusiastic about the opportunity to participate in oral culture online — there is something timeless about talking in groups, whether it’s around a campfire 5,000 years ago or on an app today.

Clubhouse is no longer invite-only as it exits beta and says the 10M people on its waitlist will be added to the app over time

by The Verge 2021.07.21

“The invite system has been an important part of our early history… we’ve been able to grow Clubhouse in a measured way, and keep things from breaking as we’ve scaled.”

This change comes only a week after Clubhouse launched its DM product, Backchannel, which the team now says saw 10 million messages sent within the first day of launch, and more than 90 million over the first week.

Of course, the app opening up comes amid increasing competition. As Clubhouse built out its product and acquired a waitlist, other social audio products, like Twitter Spaces, opened to everyone. If Clubhouse wants to compete, and keep acquiring new users, it’ll have to make sure everyone can actually access it. Part of that journey was bringing the app to Android, in addition to iOS, and now it’s completed the second major step, which is removing any gating around new user signup.

Clubhouse needs creators, but creators need cash

by The Verge 2021.09.28

As the inaugural class of Clubhouse’s “Creator First” program, they were supposed to receive Clubhouse’s help landing sponsorships and turning their shows into a “profitable creative endeavor” [but] it turned out they weren’t getting one-on-one meetings with the brands; instead, they would be pitching their shows to a public room on Clubhouse [for two minutes each], alongside dozens of other creators, where anyone on the app could join…

Clubhouse… is reportedly valued at $4 billion… It has partnerships with some major organizations — like TED and the NFL — but… Clubhouse isn’t directly monetizing the typical live audio rooms its users host… Clubhouse only offers tipping as a way for hosts to make money off their rooms, and the creators I spoke with say they rarely, if ever, received a tip…

Clubhouse and its competitors are pulling from the same playbook. But the key difference between YouTube and Clubhouse is that its platform already generates revenue for lots of people. If Clubhouse wants more creators to join and make high-quality content, it’ll need to get sponsors on board.

Clubhouse announces several features, including Clips that let listeners snip 30 seconds of audio and Replay which lets hosts record a room

by TechCrunch (Amanda Silberling) 2021.10.01

Layoffs and voluntary departures among staff at Clubhouse, as the app struggles with competition and strategy shifts away from categories like news and sports

by Engadget 2022.06.03

Clubhouse reinvents itself as an audio messaging app

by The Verge 2023.09.06

The app that popularized social audio rooms is reinventing itself “to be more like a messaging app” with new voice-only group chats called “chats”… Think of a chat as something like a group Instagram story that you contribute to with your voice. You kick off a chat by recording a voice message, and then you can send that chat around to your friends. They can then hop in and add their own voice recordings to create a kind of voice collage / conversation.

The app has been totally redesigned around these new chats… You can still make the type of live social audio rooms that made Clubhouse a hit, but the feature was a bit buried [although] live rooms “will continue to be a central part of Clubhouse”…

Clubhouse has seen a massive drop in popularity since the early days of the covid pandemic, especially since the social network formerly known as Twitter launched its own Spaces social audio rooms.

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Anthony Bardaro

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