Will July 21 mark the start of a downward spiral for Clubhouse – the ultra-exclusive, invite-only audio room social space that has attracted the likes of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah?
If Twitter’s Jack Dorsey gets his way, a new and more accessible space could very well be pushing the hip social platform off its vaunted perch and into a nightmare of decreased valuations.
Twitter’s recent announcement that it is opening applications to test Ticketed Spaces, giving users access to social audio rooms, undoubtedly set the alarm bells ringing within the Clubhouse sphere, as Dorsey cunningly tied the roll-out to a hugely-anticipated debate on BitCoin with Elon Musk.
It all started on Twitter, of course, with Musk and Dorsey’s banter about the cryptocurrency culminating with the latter inviting Musk to be part of The B Word, an online event that will also feature other big names like Blockstream’s Adam Beck and ARK Invest’s Cathie Wood.
Few are surprised at this turn of events. Since Twitter Spaces – which comes with none of the restrictions Clubhouse was infamous for – was announced earlier this year, it was immediately clear that Dorsey would be going head-to-head again Clubhouse for the market space.
And this debate just might be the perfect marketing stunt to launch Twitter Spaces into the stratosphere. It is no wonder that Clubhouse finds itself scrambling to avoid a backlash in terms of downloads and valuation, even going as far as to open access to Android users, something that had been assiduously avoided for the sake of ‘exclusivity’.
But it appears that the days of Clubhouse FOMO are over, as downloads continue to drastically decrease, going down from 9.6 million downloads back in January to a mere 900,000 in April.
And the backlash is likely to be extended to the company valuation, with word on the tech grapevine being that the upcoming Dorsey-Musk ‘clash of the Titans’ likely to be the last straw for an App that was already showing signs of struggle in the past months.
Industry insiders have even gone so far as to say that Clubhouse strategy of excluding a good portion of the market means that they shot themselves in the foot, leaving users with a bad taste in their mouth.
And many entrepreneurs – like SiGMA’s own Eman Pulis – were reluctant to jump on to the Clubhouse bandwagon from the very start, saying that it put Android users at an unfair disadvantage.
It would appear that they were not the only ones to believe this. In fact, Clubhouse failed to see the expected rise in downloads after it was opened up to Android users, with many feeling that the company had missed the boat and preferring to wait for Twitter Spaces to become available.
There was a time when ‘how to get a Clubhouse invite’ was one of the most highly-searched for terms on Google, and when invites were being pawned off on Ebay for ridiculous amounts. It may just be that Dorsey’s Twitter Spaces have killed that.
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