🕶e8:Hop in the Clubhouse! Wait… Which One?

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Business/Start-Up News

🎧 Hop in the Clubhouse! Wait… Which One?

Alright… by now we’ve all become accustomed to the social trends that form our view of social media, and determine which social media holds “The Spotlight”. For example… 2020 was the year of Tik Tok, which was massively sweeping in downloads across the globe as a getaway from the horrendous pandemic environments popping up around the world. Now, as people are starting to get bored of quick, quirky videos and dance trends, they shift to platforms with more interaction. A smaller “invite-only” app “Clubhouse” was put on the map in March 2020 and has amassed 8 million downloads since launch. So why are we talking about it now?! ‘Cause the tech big boys are coming in for a slice of the pie: Twitter is rolling out their “Spaces” feature,  Facebook is considering a similar app, and a Mark Cuban-backed app called “Fireside” is in the pipeline, all looking to make their own splash in the space… Let’s look closer at what’s really going on!

Tha Good

For those unfamiliar, Clubhouse and “Spaces” focuses on providing podcast-style conferences, but in a drop-in format where users can hop into various “rooms” and discuss a range of different topics from wellness, personal finance, sports, you name it. It’s interesting to see many celebrities and renowned individuals in their areas of expertise, such as Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey, Drake, and many more lead topics in these discussion rooms. I like how the platform doesn’t pressure anyone to participate; users can be all ears, or actively take part in these conversations. Furthermore, the potential to use this platform as a tool to network and learn is an aspect we have been lacking in social media. With all time low human interaction, it honestly feels refreshing to be able to socialize about topics you and others share in common. Another factor worth considering is how much of a toll feed-based social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc take on our daily screen time; all Clubhouse requires is a pair of listening ears. 

Tha Bad

On the surface Clubhouse and “Spaces” look like they have a lot going for them. Yet once we look at their underbelly, there are definitely some flaws that could hurt or potentially spell the end of these types of networks. For starters, you must connect all your contacts to their database and a copy of your contact list gets stored on their servers… In this day and age where hacking is extremely common, these policies act as a red flag to users that are concerned with their privacy. A spokeswoman from Clubhouse has stated that they will be adding the ability to delete contacts and your account from the app soon, but until then, you still have to send them a support email to have them delete your data. Pivoting from security and privacy, the platform also struggles with moderation. Racism and bigotry have unfortunately found their way into the platform and now it's up to Clubhouse Execs to decide how to keep their platform safe. Twitter has actually delayed their “Spaces” launch to address these issues… That being said, the platforms also suffer from other creature comfort problems such as connection strength, room sizes, and transcription issues.

Tha Ev’s Take

First off, sorry Android users, currently this is only for the kids on dem iphones. It’s crazy that this app is still in a prelaunch, invite-only stage, and has now topped 8 million global downloads. It’s clear people are hyped to try out this new platform. But of course we must ask, is this growth sustainable? Will users still be using audible apps when post-COVID world reopens?

To me, COVID has sparked a necessary need to turn to a hybrid model in many aspects of modern life. Companies are looking for ways to balance the work home/office atmosphere, schools are figuring out ways to educate their children at home/school safely. And who’s the middle man: technology. While I’m unsure if audible media will generate the next wave in social media, I can tell you it’s great to be able to have options that are easy to opt into. Once herd immunity is reached and we return back to live networking events, concerts, etc.; it will be pleasant to utilize these new online platforms in conjunction with the traditional mediums.

I’m interested to see if this can spark a brand new sector for the mobile-spoken space: a world moving more towards digital connection with avoidance of text, videos, and photos, focusing solely on communication through the human voice. With that being said, I foresee a positive future for Clubhouse, “Spaces”, and the other competitors that are entering the space, as there is a large TAM (Total Addressable Market) and in time these companies will iron out their bugs and flaws.

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💼 Jobs/Internships

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Los Angeles

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💯Thank You For Reading, See You Next Week!

What's up, my name is Evan Hiltunen! I am a recent finance grad from Indiana University and financial analyst @ Goldman Sachs. I have a strong passion for start-ups, finance, and technology, and I hope you find this newsletter informative!

I’d love your feedback - feel free to email me at thee8newsletter@gmail.com