Clubhouse app has been in the news ever since its Beta version was launched back in 2020 and its popularity is on the rise day by day. This is an invitation-only audio-chat app that lets users to be part of live audio conversations by creating or accessing digital “rooms”. The incredible platform enables people to talk in real-time, tell stories, and use their voice for communication or to exchange thoughts.
Enthusiasts are still astonished by the way in which the app has won the acceptance of millions in this short period. There are a lot of social media interaction apps already in the arena. So those wishing to create an app like Clubhouse should bear it in the mind that it is not simply about developing a basic app but designing one with user comfort and exclusive features to make an impact.
Let us have a look at how to create an app like Clubhouse and its overall budget!
Success Story of Clubhouse
The app came to limelight as a start-up in March 2020 when the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth launched it while the actual start-up was initiated in Fall 2019. Initially, it was designed for podcasts in the name ‘Talkshow’ which was later rebranded as Clubhouse.
There were only about 1,500 users in May first week. The popularity of the app skyrocketed when the American venture capital company Andreessen Horowitz invested in the app in mid-May. The portfolio of the said firm includes Coinbase and BuzzFeed which resulted in a wave of discussion.
According to Forbes report, the investment was around $10 million and the secondary sale shares were around $2 million. Another report from Forbes stated that even when investors estimated $100 million worth for the app, there were some investors who were keen to fund up to $200 million.
With 4.8 ratings from around 5 lakh responses, they boast of millions of users at present with an amazing value of $ 1 billion.
Here let us have a look into the key specialities and stats of the app that made it so popular and successful in a short span of time!
- Unlike many popular social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, Clubhouse can be referred to as an invite only-audio social network with no room for video and written messages and that is what makes it unique.
- Following registration with app, users can go to ‘rooms’ to listen to others talking about your interested topics or even join as a speaker with the permission of the room owner.
- Tech innovators and celebrities were the first ones to use the app through invite and that itself triggered more reach to the platform. Being the only app of its kind at present, it grabbed the attention of enthusiasts in no time.
- Moreover, the time of launch was another important factor for its huge success. The time of pandemic made everyone disconnected with the world and most of the people were lonely and felt desperate for live interaction when Clubhouse made entry.
- It was designed as an exclusive experience for iOS but expects to hit more platforms soon. Unlike other social media apps, Clubhouse is a live app that does not store anything for next day and this uniqueness has made it a standout from the usual social interaction platforms.
- The app gives the feel like a personal offline conversation and as there is no video involved, people can be at the flexibility of making casual conversations without the need of preparedness.
- Celebrities like Elon Musk, Roger Stone, Mark Zuckerberg, Kanye West, and Jared Leto are among the top users who are part of this new sensation.
- With more celebrities joining the app, the demand is on the peak. According to reports from Reuters, demand for membership was evident in platforms like eBay, Reddit, and Craigslist with about $400 for invitation codes.
- According to CEO Paul Davison, the active weekly user base in January 2021 was about 2 million whereas it went to 3.5 million downloads by February 1st and later to 8.1 million downloads by mid-February and it crossed 10 million just 1 year after its release.
- They announced that Android version will hit the market soon and even hired Android developers in February which substantiates their statement. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Discord. Spotify, Slack, Telegram etc has already launched additional features to directly compete with the app.
The enthralling comments on the app by top medias says it all. Let us have a look into a few of them.
- Vogue: FOMO fuels people to download the latest tech trend
- New York Times: the invite-only app draws attention with exclusivity
- CNBC: celebrities and high-profile venture capitalists are promoting it.
- Forbes: the audio-only app feeds the need for human connection.
- BBC News- Experience of meeting strangers on ’90s chat lines
- Product Hunt- Gen Z alternative for radio.
Read Also : 24 Best Social Media Apps 2021
Core App Features
Those who are aspiring to create an audio chat app like Clubhouse can go through the core features of the app. The list also discusses some feature options that can be easily integrated with the existing app to make it more competitive.
#1. Clubhouse Invitation
Already registered users in the app have the exclusive feature of sending invites to any two people of their choice. As stated by officials, there are three main ways through which a person can get entry to the app in the first place. It is by getting an invite, virtual waiting list registration and some rumours are there saying you can even buy an invite.
This is the first step once you enter the Clubhouse app. It asks you to give your name along with a photo. Followed by that, you can just enter any room you like. New users are by default muted at first and it allows you to unmute if you wish so with the permission of moderator. If you are the one who created the room, you will be the moderator.
This feature can be added with integration option to make creating the account easy for users. You can either allow for sign up through email services or through other social media account credentials.
Only users with an invite can get to the sign–in page while others can go to waiting list by choosing “Get your username”.
Users can open the feed to see the various discussions that are happening now which are denoted as rooms. You can see the room’s name as well as the people who are inside. The list contains the upcoming events and the live ones.
You can create a room, join existing rooms, or simply view a room. The Start a room button lets you to create a room. You can choose from Open, Social, and Closed room types. Users have the freedom to politely interrupt the speaker by raising hand. You can leave the room anytime by pressing Leave button quietly or after announcing that you wish to leave.
A simple architecture of a room usually contains the following:
- “Leave quietly” button
- “Raise hand” button
- Search possibility within room
- List of speakers
When inside a room, you can check the current speaker and their account. You can even see who invited the speaker and the time of invitation and the clubs in which they are a member, very much like the feature of Twitter.
#6. User profiles
This section comprises user’s name, picture, and a short description. However, you can make room for users to add more relevant details or give optional fields to make the profile look more interesting in your new app.
This is like Facebook groups. Users have the freedom to join any clubs and meet other people of similar interest. The clubs let you view members, add new members, and even suggest topics for discussion.
A club can be formed only following at least 3 regular room conversations. The clubs can be made private (club members only) or public. The simple architecture looks like the following:
- Club name
- Club logo or picture
- Categories of interest
- Short description
There is also a follow button for clubs which you can press to get notifications when conversations are hosted. Three possible roles inside a club includes the following:
Admin: They can schedule conversations, add, or remove people, access club rules and profile and even send invites on behalf of club.
Members: They can set up private rooms within the clubs, glance through private rooms, or even nominate new members.
Followers: They can access any open rooms created by admins with no special grant to access private rooms.
This section is to get an overview of your interests which helps Clubhouse to give you best options to follow people or topics. You can even select “Follow no one” option when your feed remains empty.
Any social media app handling live content will have a very handy feature like ‘Search’ and so is the case of Clubhouse. This feature lets you to search for people whom you wish to follow or chat topics of interest. During a conversation, the search option can be used to look for people inside a room.
#10. Upcoming for you
This is an interesting section that shows what is in the store for you in the upcoming days. This shows a schedule of the events that are already fixed, start times, conversation names, speakers, and short description of topics. Pressing the bell icon gives you reminders of when the chat will kick start.
The section can be filtered for three categories- My events, Upcoming for you and All Upcoming.
This feature gives an overall outline of the previous activities that are linked to your account. This includes the people who recently joined the app, who are following you, the scheduled events as well as the clubs of other members.
Like other social media apps, Clubhouse also makes use of push notifications for enhanced user engagement. This section notifies you about events and tells you when someone you follow creates a new room.
Another specialty of Clubhouse app is that content is live only and nothing is stored for future. So, such a reminder feature can help users not to miss the content when their favourite topic or speaker is in action.
To make it easy for users to find the most suitable rooms, Clubhouse lets them choose from a list of topics available. Topics are assigned by the speakers at the time of room creation to make it easy for listeners to find rooms of their interest.
For any type of social media apps, the role of a moderator is crucial. The room owners should be given the moderation rights and an admin panel can be an added boost to monitor user reports as well as to ban rooms that triggers bullying or hate speech.
A user always prefer a customizable version of the app and the settings section can give them the option to change any features according to their preference. It can be theme, languages, block, or mute users, adjust notifications, change topics of interest and more.
#16. Clubhouse Payments
This feature is still in the testing phase as they cooperate with Stripe to kick start in April 2021.
#17. Creator First
This accelerator program is an initiative to support content creators on the platform to improve their audience base with a direct payment system to monetize the content.
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Technology Stack to Create an App Like Clubhouse
The actual technology stack of the Clubhouse app is still not disclosed. Agora is rumoured as the tech behind Clubhouse, but the officials have neither accepted nor declined the same. As audio streaming quality and real time communication is the key, there is no room for any compromise for technology side responsible for the same.
Analysts pointed out the possibility of a similar technology stack for Clubhouse:
- PubNub for actual voice room
- AWS(S3) for storing profile images
- Cloudflare for hosting APIs
- Data Theorem for app security
- Amplitude for product analytics
Here let us take a snapshot of the various technologies that help to create an innovative app like Clubhouse:
- IDE-Xcode, Android Studio
- Programming Languages- Swift, Kotlin, PHP, Node js
- Cloud Storage-Amazon S3
- Utilities- Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Visual Website Optimizer
- Payment Gateways- Braintree, Paypal, Stripe
- Email- Gmail, AWS, SendGrid
- Database- Mongo DB, Redis, MySQL, PostgreSQL
- Messaging Platform- Twilio, Nexmo, Sinch, RestComm
- Analytics- Mixpanel, Google Analytics, Keen.io
- Deployment Platforms- iOS, Android, Cloud
Development Team to Create an App like Clubhouse
It is crucial to have a flawless blend and communication among the development team throughout the process to complete the project in minimal time with maximum productivity. All these specialists have an important role to play to develop better insights, avoid possible errors and bring in the right mix of excellence. Afterall, it is the teamwork that matters the most in the success of any project.
- Business Analysts
- UI/UX Designers
- iOS Developers
- QA Engineers
- System Administrators
- Back-end Developers
- Scrum Masters
- Project Manager
- Team Managers
- Quality Analysts
How Much Does It Cost to Create an App like Clubhouse?
If you decide to go for only iOS platform, the expense can be somewhere around $30,000 for a basic app and it can be around $45,000 for an advanced app while some analysts even suppose it can go about $50-60K with extensive features.
However, if you choose to go for Android also, the cost will go higher. Having said that, the cost need not go double as similar design and same back end can serve the purpose.
Below are some of the major factors that affect the app development cost:
- Product design
- Time frame
- Product features
- Technology stack
- Project size and complexity
- Hourly rate of development team
- Number of members in team
Out of all, the hourly rate of development can make a considerable difference in the overall budget and the rate is mostly dependent on the location from which they operate.
A rough estimate of number of hours needed to create Clubhouse app will be around 400 hours for iOS development, 350 hours for Android development, about 100 hours for design, and up to 120 hours for PM/QA which totals about 870 hours.
However, there can be some unseen parameters that will pop up during the process which consumes more time. Considering many related factors, experts have pointed out an estimate time of up to 1,250 hours to complete the project if you include advanced features.
How Can an App Like Clubhouse Be Monetized?
As of now, Clubhouse app has not added any room for monetization. Including ads is the easy way but it can be more irritating for users that one think and the purpose may go in vain. The team is still thinking of some other way which can be choosy for users but still gain some momentum through subscriptions, tickets, and the like.
There are ways where Clubhouse as well as Clubhouse users can get revenue like-app transaction fee, paid premium listings and making accounts premium.
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The success and popularity of this social audio network in this short time has triggered interest among other enthusiasts to create an app like Clubhouse. But as we have discussed, it is not something simple but needs tremendous hard work and a dedicated team who will never compromise on the quality.
As the mundane chatting on social media apps and messengers or scheduled Zoom meetings for work or studies are eating up most part of your day, a platform that gives room for random and spontaneous communication can give some interesting twist to your social life.
Experts have even thought of possibilities regarding building a similar app that can be tailored for corporate needs. Ongoing collaborative work, live communication and quick calls are considered as the specialities of this platform that makes it promising for internal corporate communication, especially during this remote working culture of covid era.