Is the whole Clubhouse thing already over? As app installs plunge and interest wanes, this might have been a $4 billion fad.
Remember when Clubhouse was about to conquer Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Zoom, and podcasting in one fell swoop? It’s not hard to remember the days when Clubhouse was all anybody was talking about — because that was just a few months ago.
These days — as in, 60-90 days later — it seems that nobody is talking about Clubhouse. Instead, we’re mainly covering the news of Clubhouse clones being launched by Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter, instead of covering Clubhouse itself. Back when Clubhouse was dominating discussions, headlines, and podcast conversations, platforms like Facebook were spending millions and devoting months of development time to create their audio-only copycats — and not get left behind.
But what happened to the company they were chasing?
Clubhouse is still there, in case you were wondering. But instead of surging, the air is quickly leaking out of this balloon. Searches for ‘clubhouse app’ (and related queries) have already flatlined on Google, according to volumes tracked by the search giant (see above).
More importantly, Clubhouse is also experiencing a dramatic slowdown in app installs. The app enjoyed 9.2 million downloads in February, a number that has since collapsed to roughly 900,000 downloads, according to Sensor Tower. That is a plunge of greater than 90% in just a few months, though Sensor Tower also noted that retention of existing users remains strong.
But is that true?
Earlier this year, Clubhouse rooms were overflowing, thanks partly to celebrity cameos by Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Meek Mill, and Jared Leto, among many others. These days, Clubhouse seems comparably dead. One user on Reddit described the flattened vibe in a post appropriately titled, ‘Is Clubhouse hype over?’:
“I see rooms with fewer members and not many rooms anymore. Also, people have run out of topics to discuss. Shorter duration rooms. People are tired of repetitive topics or the same old topics-related rooms. Mostly religion, politics, race, or some controversial debates. People are blocking each other and not letting people join each other’s rooms. People are unethically bullying others and calling others names. There is huge Clubhouse fatigue.”
That was actually two months ago, when Clubhouse was supposedly still hot. Perhaps the sizzle started dying down earlier than most realized — though investors apparently aren’t getting that memo (or are flat-out ignoring it). Despite the massive user drops, Clubhouse currently enjoys a market valuation of $4 billion, a figure that has been steadily growing (the company’s Series C was in late April).
Meanwhile, Clubhouse has been working to keep the energy going, most recently by launching a private DM feature. Most importantly, Clubhouse has finally launched on Android, which could potentially cause a bounce. Other countries are also coming on board, though downloads in the United States remain sharply down.
And of course, the entire world has dramatically changed since February.
People are vaccinated, restaurants are open, masks are gone, and normal life is resuming. In fact, the upward trend of people going outside seems like the direct inverse of Clubhouse’s downward trend of app downloads. And that could be the end of this story.
What is Clubhouse? Here’s a quick introduction (or refresher).