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Clubhouse Adds In-Room Chat, Providing Another Way to Engage in Conversations

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Clubhouse Adds In-Room Chat, Providing Another Way to Engage in Conversations


Clubhouse has added another way for users to engage in the conversation in each room, with a new text chat option that will run in complement to the main audio discussion in each session.

As you can see in this example, posted by user Michael Sterling, Clubhouse’s chat option is a pretty straightforward text stream, which all listeners can contribute to, expanding the input potential beyond just those chosen to speak. Clubhouse also added a private chat option in July last year, but this is a more open discussion, so that any attendee can add their thoughts.

As explained by Clubhouse:

“Today we’re introducing in-room chat which will allow users – from the mods to the listeners in the audience – to communicate with each other via text during a live room. Don’t want to miss your moment to share a killer joke? Want to put in a song request? Want to react with an emoji? You can now drop it in the in-room chat.”

The idea is that this will help to get more people involved in the conversation, particularly those who might like to contribute, but don’t want to take the mic. If Clubhouse can get more people involved, that’s better for building community – but at the same time, opening up a free-for-all in the comments could also be problematic, as other live-stream platforms have found in the past.

Indeed, even within the first hours of going live with the function, reports indicated potential issues with spam and offensive comments. Which is why it’s important that room hosts have control over the option, which Clubhouse has built in, along with various other safety tools.

The main functional point here is that creators can decide if text chat is enabled or not within their room, and they can switch it off at any time during the broadcast. Hosts can also delete any message posted by anyone during the session, as well as after the room ends, with the text chat also viewable within the replay (though replay listeners cannot contribute further comments).

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Contributors will also be able to edit and delete their own comments in-stream, while users can also report any offensive or harmful comments by long pressing on the offending remark and tapping ‘Report’.

If chats are enabled in a Clubhouse session, you’ll see a new chat icon in the bottom left of screen, next to the ‘Share’ and ‘Clip’ icons.

Clubhouse chat

As noted, various live-stream platforms already provide similar text chat options available, so it’s not a major functional leap forward. But it does add something more to the Clubhouse engagement process, which could help it boost engagement among more passive audience members (i.e. lurkers).

Despite no longer being the hot social app of the moment, Clubhouse has continued to steadily build, with usage in India, in particular, on the rise following its expansion to Android.

Clubhouse downloads [chart]

As you can see in this chart, as downloads of the app slowed in the North and Latin America (NALA) region in the middle of last year, its growth in APAC more than made up for it. It hasn’t maintained those same download numbers throughout, but Clubhouse did report that its app was downloaded 2.6 million times in December, up significantly on the preceding month.

Clubhouse could hold particular value in the Indian region, with the Indian Government continually working to limit and even restrict certain types of speech in social apps in order to quell anti-government sentiment.

When the conversation’s happening in real time, however, that’s not really possible – which could, of course, also put Clubhouse on a collision course with local regulators at some stage.

But right now, it’s working in the app’s favor, with Clubhouse now being used by millions of Indians every week (Clubhouse hasn’t published any recent updates on total usage, but back in October, the app had been downloaded 6 million times in the region, and was being used by more than two million people).

That could well present significant opportunity, even if it isn’t a daily habit for as many western users as it once was, and if Clubhouse can further establish its niche, it could still remain a key consideration for many moving forward.

In-room chat is rolling out from today on iOS and Android.

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.

Here’s how the new additions work.

The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.

As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.

It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.

Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.

Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.

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Reels updates

As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.

So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.

Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.

Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.

Stars donations in Reels

Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.

Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.

Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.

Reels updates

That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.

Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.

Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.

Reels updates

As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’

Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.

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Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.

That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.  

You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.

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