- Launched during the pandemic, the company “scaled back” the app earlier this year, with the promise of “evolving the product” after a “period of change.”
Social media app Clubhouse, founded by Rohan Seth and Paul Davison is making a comeback. It will be “more like a messaging app available now on iOS and Android, and is “designed to be more social than other messaging apps, and a bit more Clubhouse-y,” founders said in a blog announcing the new avatar. The new Clubhouse is more like a messaging app than before, purport the founders. The biggest update is “Chats”, a new voice-only chat forum for users and their friends.
Launched during the pandemic, the app was an instant hit. The invitation-only app let members create rooms on various topics, and other users could drop in to either listen in on the conversation or participate. “The audio-based app gained popularity for hosting “podcast-style conversations”, often revolving around networking, professional development, and new ideas,” Mashable said.
However, the euphoria was short-lived. This April, Seth and Davison announced that they were “scaling back our org by over 50% and saying goodbye to many talented, dedicated teammates in the process.” They said they were “deeply sorry to be doing this, and we would not be making this change if we didn’t feel it was absolutely necessary.” They further said that “the product needs to evolve to find its role in the world,” and will “require a period of change.”
The user interface of the revamped Clubhouse is “more colorful and personal — which is probably a big selling point,” Mashable notes. A blog on the website notes other updates like changes to the live rooms. “The new update is a big evolution of Clubhouse,”reads a statement on the website.”Designed to let you talk with your favorite people more easily, every time you open the app.”
During the launch of the social app, Seth and Davison published a blog post on the Clubhouse website, They talked about the genesis of the app and discussed plans to expand it. “Our focus now is on opening up Clubhouse to the whole world,” they say on the blogpost. “With that goal in mind for 2021, we have secured a new round of funding,” they say, adding, “It’s always been important to us to have investors who care deeply about diversity, and who will work hard to help us make Clubhouse a welcoming and inclusive community. We’re working hard to scale Clubhouse as fast as we can and open it up to everyone soon.”
Before Seth and Davison reconnected in 2019, the two serial entrepreneurs had been working on social products, albeit unsuccessfully. Business Insider reported that the duo has “at least nine failed apps between them, including Talkshow, their first collaboration and the predecessor to Clubhouse.” In the blogpost they say: “Unlike our other attempts, Clubhouse seemed to strike a real chord with people, and it has accelerated quickly over the past ten months — from a small handful of beta testers into a diverse and growing network of communities.” They said Clubhouse was their “last try.” After almost a year of launch, the co-founders say on their blog: “It’s the most exciting thing we’ve ever been a part of.”