News Analysis: Social Media's Turning Point - Clubhouse
Elon Musk's Tacit Endorsement Puts Clubhouse On The World Stage
At about 10:00 pm pacific time tonight, the world will experience a turning point in social media. The text heavy, image heavy social media platforms will be put on alert by an audio only competitor that was released early in February 2020. Clubhouse, the at-first secretive audio-only conversation social media platform will have hit it's magical mega adoption moment (MMAM). As with Twitter's real coming out at SXSW in 2006 going from 20,000 tweets to 60,000 tweets a day, Clubhouse is about to experience this with Elon Musk's arrival to the Good Time show. HIs 2:00 pm tweet has drawn 10's of thousand into Clubhouse already and his follower count has gone from a few thousand to almost 28k as of 4:00 pm pacific time. Expect the Reddit crowd to be there and millions more will be joining in the next week.
Clubhouse Brings Interactivity To Podcasting, Creating An Interactive Radio Experience
When Clubhouse started, co-founders Paul Davison (@pdavidson) of social app Highlight fame, and Rohan Seth (@rohanseth) of mobile app design shop Memry Labs fame, served as the moderators for their single room. Since the pandemic, the app has grown to include some of the top influencers in the world along with a mission to include more diverse communities into the ecosystem. With more than 2 million users as of January 24th, 2021, the number of communities have grown and the hosts have improved in their interaction and content including but not limited to:
- hanging out
- world affairs
The clubs continues to grow.with every new member of the community. The experience is akin to listening to radio or a podcast while doing something else. This element of being able to multi-task is what makes it so addictive and special. You can voyeur and do something else. You can multi-task, unlike video or text. Moreover, you can also raise a hand to ask a question and add an interactive element to the conversation. But, be prepared for a time sink. You will be testing the limits of your iPhone battery (not available on Android yet).
The Bottom Line: Tonight's Elon Musk Moment Brings Massive Opportunities And Disruption To The Social Media Landscape
For over a year, Clubhouse has reinvented social media, podcasting, and radio for a small exclusive group of early invitees. Tonight's magical mega adoption moment (MMAM) will put Twitter on notice to have a comparable option. Facebook will need to have its counter and video platforms like TikTok will be on notice to be competing in the long run for digital advertising revenue. (Expect the usual Chinese copycat version.) Media companies and podcasting platforms will also be on alert as influencers flock to Clubhouse and bring their sponsorship dollars with them.
However, the biggest disruption in the social media platform may not be the platform, nor the democratization of access to networks with influencers. In fact, it will be the business model used to reward content creators that will be very different than today's ad-supported business. Expect this model to be more aligned with subscriptions and pay per attendance. As users continue to be betrayed by privacy breaches and the abuse of consumer data, the movement to more creator friendly models will continue and Clubhouse is expected to lead the way. Clubhouse is going to prove that content from creators is what ultimately makes a social network and they should be rewarded.
Do you think new social media platforms are ready to be disrupted? Did you join Clubhouse because of Elon Musk's broadcast? Join me on Clubhouse @rwang0.
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