Clubhouse has announced a set of new features as it looks to improve in-app functionality and engagement, while also providing more ways for creators to maximize the value of their broadcasts.
The biggest addition is its new search functionality, which will enable users to find more relevant content in the app.
As you can see in this example, Clubhouse users will now be able to find relevant Rooms, Clubs and upcoming events based on keyword search.
As explained by Clubhouse:
“It’s crazy that you can’t search for rooms on Clubhouse... well now you can, because today we’re shipping Universal Search. This will allow you to search for people, clubs, live rooms and future events - so you can find your friends more quickly, discover amazing clubs and events related to any breaking news or nerdy interest, and find rooms about specific things happening in the world right now.”
Discovery has quickly become a pressing need for the app, with its gradual expansion meaning that more and more rooms have ended up crowding the space, making it harder to find relevant, interesting broadcasts at any given time.
We saw the same happen with video live-streams – once everyone was able to broadcast, the quality ratio quickly fell out of whack, as platforms were flooded with random streams of people staring down the lens of the camera, screaming at comments as they came through, among various other questionable broadcasts.
In recent weeks, Clubhouse has found the same, which has impacted user engagement, while Twitter is also grappling with similar challenges for its audio Spaces, in order to ensure that it highlights the most relevant broadcasts to each user, all of the time.
Discovery is tough, and algorithms even more so, and as such, it makes sense for Clubhouse to focus on keyword discovery as a starting point, which it can then refine and improve on to ideally boost usage.
Clubhouse is also officially launching its new Clips feature, which will enable users to share audio clips from Club broadcasts.
✨ lots of new news in this video ✨— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) September 30, 2021
✂ CLIPS is in beta
???? SEARCH rolling out now
▶️ REPLAYS coming soon
and stay tuned for our entire eng & design team moving to LA to formally pursue voice acting pic.twitter.com/bUTabb9TDO
As demonstrated in this video, Clips will enable Clubhouse users to share 30-second clips of public rooms, helping to boost awareness, and interest, in Clubhouse broadcasts.
To create a clip, listeners and hosts will be able to see a new clips icon which, when tapped, will grab the last 30 seconds of audio, streamlining the sharing process.
“People can share Clips of your show to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, iMessage, or WhatsApp - and even save them to their camera rolls for quick editing first.”
That could also open up potential privacy concerns - which is why Clubhouse has also added in basic safeguards to control Clip sharing. Clips will not be available for private, social or club rooms, while for public broadcasts, hosts will have the option to decide whether Clips are enabled.
And finally, in what will be a major addition for podcasters, and those looking to maximize the value of their Clubhouse chats, Clubhouse is also rolling out Replays, meaning your chats will live on beyond the broadcast itself.
“You’ll be able to choose whether you want Replays enabled when you start a room. If they’re on, your room will be discoverable on Clubhouse for as long as you like - and available for you to download and share anywhere.”
Twitter's developing the same for Spaces, and while that does reduce the exclusivity and immediacy of being present for the live broadcast somewhat, it also facilitates more options for sharing, which could enable broadcasters to glean more value from their efforts.
It’s still difficult to tell what the future holds for Clubhouse, with the app’s rapid ascension now seemingly well past, and competing apps looking to counter its growth potential with their own, copycat tools. If Clubhouse can’t provide broad audience reach, that reduces its value to some degree - but the capacity to re-use your content could also provide some counter to this, while discovery remains a critical concern.
As such, these updates make a heap of sense, and they could help to improve the app’s prospects as it seeks to maintain, and boost interest.