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Clubhouse is a social networking application that was launched in 2020 by Alpha Exploration, a California-based software developer, and become a bomb after Celebrities and media personalities like Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey started using its audio function to share their stories and stay connected with people during the pandemic. Clubhouse has gained its popularity in many countries including Thailand so if you never heard about it you definitely miss something out. Clubhouse has gained its popularity in Thailand at the beginning of Feb 2021 due to its unique feature and exclusiveness feeling that you can only join if you are invited. Clubhouse has become not just a place people can talk and chitchat for entertainment but also a forum for Thai people to discuss the political issue with politicians and public figures which cannot be freely talked about in other social media platforms. Examples of politicians and public figures that have participated in Clubhouse include scholar and political exile Pavin Chachavalpongpun, Progressive Movement leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit and Yuthana “Pa Ted” Boonorm. From these factors, the dramatic growth of users, and attention from people at all fields at that time Clubhouse was predicted to be a new major social media application in marketing and publishing news and every spotlight was on Clubhouse. But just a few months after that the popularity of the platform seems to be decreasing pretty fast contradicting what many media experts predicted. So what causes the social media platform that seems to be rocket skying to a shooting star instead.

  1. Clubhouse is replaceable and unstable

Even though Clubhouse differentiated itself as the first social media application that can only be audio used and give you the nostalgic vibe like you were in the radio era time but we have to admit that the differentiated point of the application can easily be replicated. Yahoo voice-based chatroom and Twitter spaces(remember this name we will mention more about it later) and discord are some examples of it. Moreover, the exclusiveness of Clubhouse that you can only join when you are invited or only people with ios can use (now Clubhouse is available on both android and ios) makes the application hard to use and give kind of a sense of “INEQUALITY”. Clubhouse also has an unstable system when many people join the room and is very sensitive with internet connection. One Clubhouse room can only hold up to about 5,000-8,000 audiences which might sound like a big number but we talking about an application that is meant to connect people around the world so this number is definitely too small for each room. Lastly, security is still doubted for Clubhouse. In July 2021, 3.8 billion phone numbers were hacked from Clubhouse and sold on the darknet. From these reasons that I have mentioned above no wonder why the popularity of it has declined.

  1. The launch of Twitter spaces

As I have mentioned above Clubhouse’s different point is easy to replicate and the application is hard to access. So when an already existing application that is used by mass audiences launches a new function that is similar but better than Clubhouse you can guess which will be chosen first. In late April 2021 Twitter have launched a new function called spaces which according to Twitters ”Twitter spaces or spaces is a new way to have live audio conversations on Twitter.” Twitter is already well known for being a space for people to share their opinion in a way that other social networking applications can’t. So it is no surprise that when Twitter launched a new function that will allow people a new way to share their thoughts people will start using it immediately. Similar to Clubhouse the spaces function of Twitter allows you to create a room to have a live audio conversation on Twitter. However, the Twitter spaces can hold up unlimited listeners compared to Clubhouse which can hold about 5,000-8,000 listeners. Twitter spaces are also available on both ios and android. It’s included emoji reaction higher sound quality than clubhouse and last but not least it is available for everyone. 

  1. Run out of topic

According to the Bangkok Post, the most popular topics for Thai users are politics and entertainment. At the time that Clubhouse started to gain popularity in Thailand, the pro-democracy movement was on fire as the situation of COVID-19 started getting worst making it’s hard to hold a protest. Clubhouse become a place where people voice out their opinion, contact politician,s and continue their legacy to fight for their own rights. However, Clubhouse is not available for everyone so after Twitter has launched the spaces function people started to shift from Clubhouse back to Twitter which is where political conversation use to have. Entertainment topics in Clubhouse also started to be redundant and running out of content. So people started to move back to other social media that provide them more diverse content and function than Clubhouse.

  1. Because trend comes and goes

Clubhouse hype comes from its reputation outside Thailand that it has been used by many celebrities, politicians, and public figures and it allowed mundane like us to have a close conversation with them through this app. So people just can’t wait to experience the exclusiveness when they know that politicians and public figures in Thailand start using it too. But we can see that the platform function alone doesn’t attractive enough for people to continue using it after the trend has alleviated and the topic start to run out the hype of Clubhouse started to go away and even though people still have it on their phone they hardly jump on it anymore. This phenomena also happen in the U.S and other countries, too. Where the number of download and users of Clubhouse after a few months of its peak.

What is the future of Clubhouse in Thailand and global?

Currently, Clubhouse has expanded its service to android and is now available for everyone. Invitation not needed. Even though the number of users and downloaders have slowed down In the U.S but the market of Clubhouse is still growing in particular market outside the state such as India and this international market growth is the big part of Clubhouse’s latest funding which investors valued the app at 4$ billion. Clubhouse’s initial popular topic is an investment that is now starting to lose its hype because they are redundant. However, they have been a potential that clubhouse might grow from a new type of user demographic. In July 2021,  a room called H1GHR HOUR, hosted by an eponymous Korean hip hop record label named  H1GHR music, where Jay B of GOT7 is in crowed with people to the point even the overflow room was full almost immediately. This could be a sign that Clubhouse may continue growing with a new type of audience. For Clubhouse brand position after the pandemic. According to the interview of the head of global marketing at Clubhouse, Maya Watson, with the Drum. Watson said the advantage of Clubhouse is that it gives you a human-like experience, whatever you can picture yourself in real life can also be done on Clubhouse “but in a really cool way,” she said. Dinner party,  an intimate conversation with influencers in your brand, a press conference, project meeting that still contains a human-like experience all can be done in Clubhouse. Watson also mentioned that social media that use voice as a medium is still new so the brand should investigate how the audience uses the app to be able to create content that is attractive to audiences. So seems like Clubhouse still has a chance to grow bigger on the Global scale but might be in different demographics and ways that we have never seen before. However, it still has to compete with many platforms and have to develop its function and stability more to attract users in long term. For potential growth in Thailand, I think after the hype is gone it will be hard for Clubhouse to gain popularity again In Thailand. So I have mentioned before that the hype of Clubhouse in Thailand doesn’t come from its function that grabs people’s attention but it is the reputation that did. So either come up with something new that can grab people’s attention again. I don’t think that Clubhouse will have a flourishing future in Thailand. Nevertheless, the rise of Clubhouse has shown that they are still spaces for a new social media application to grow, and sometimes it doesn’t need to be a complicated thing to get people to be interested in it. What is important is this application serve what people need and meet their interest or not.

From chat to picture to video and now voice what do you think the future social media platform will look like and do you that the popularity of Clubhouse in your country still going continue? Leave your thought down below. I can’t wait to see what you guys think! 

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