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Klubbhusets senaste strategiska skift pekar på tecken för appens framtid

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Clubhouse's Latest Strategic Shift Points to Concerning Signs for the App's Future

Is Clubhouse entering its final stage?

Over the last few weeks, the departures of several top executives from the company have raised eyebrows about its future, while the latest download numbers also point to trouble for the once buzzy audio social app.

The recent exec departures are also an important indicator in its current direction – as reported by Protokoll:

“In late April, Stephanie Simon left as the company’s head of Brand Evangelism and Development. Simon joined Clubhouse just a couple of months after launch in 2020. Then this week, three more leaders announced their resignations, including Nina GregoryAarthi Ramamurthy och Anu Atluru; the trio led News, International and Community, respectively.

The gradual migration of content leaders points to a change in strategy for Clubhouse, with Bloomberg also reporting late last week that Clubhouse is making significant staffing moves as ‘part of a broader restructuring and rethinking of the audio app’s strategy'.

That strategic shift, as noted by Platformer’s Casey Newton, is likely more aligned with less structured, and more casual usage of the app for catching up with friends and like-minded people, or ‘chilling’ online in these shared audio spaces.

Which makes sense, but it also aligns with this prediction from Blab founder Shaan Puri as to Clubhouse’s likely trajectory.

Annons

Puri, whose long tweet thread on what he foresaw happening to Clubhouse, also predicts the future downward spiral for the app, with chilling likely to end up being ‘a dead end too’.

Puri would know, he’s worked on several buzzy apps, which, much like Clubhouse, saw strong performance early on, only to fade out time and time again. Because live content, in itself, is hard, and ensuring compelling, consistent experiences is near impossible in a user-generated live format, at any kind of scale.

That’s why Blab died out, along with Meerkat, and why live-stream elements on Facebook and Twitter never lived up to the massive hype, which had many enthusiasts calling the feature a ‘game changer’ and hurriedly updating their LinkedIn description to ‘live video strategist’ and the like.

Annons

Live audio, as Puri predicted, is following the same trend – and as noted, Clubhouse’s latest download stats don’t inspire a lot of confidence in this respect.

Protocol reports den där between January 1st and May 31st his year, Clubhouse has seen 3.8 million installs globally, compared to 19 million installs during the same period last year – an 80% decline year-over-year.   

Again, that likely comes as no surprise, given that at one stage everyone was scrambling for a Clubhouse invite, and now, you hardly hear any mention of the app. But Clubhouse had been seeing steady growth in India, and other regions outside the US, which pointed to future potential, despite the dimming of its spotlight.

Now, it seems like those trends are in decline too, which could end up leading into the last stage for the app.

Add to this the fact that other apps have stolen a lot of its thunder through their own, similar features (reinforcing the narrative that audio social is a feature, not a platform), and it’s looking like an increasingly challenging road ahead for the app.

Can Clubhouse find a unique niche, and still play a role in the broader connective landscape, despite these trends?

I mean, Snapchat did it. Snapchat was in a similar position after Instagram repurposed its Stories functionality, and sought to negate one of its key points of differentiation. Snap lost a lot of traction as a result, but it’s been able to maintain its place by doubling down on other aspects, like intimate connection between friends, along with its ongoing AR innovation.

The difference in this respect is that Clubhouse doesn’t have anything else – it’s audio rooms, where you can tune in, and participate in the broader chat. But that’s it. If listeners aren’t tuning in, and broadcasters start getting better response elsewhere, you can see where the trend is headed – and with the focus on video content being a much more significant behavioral shift overall, you can imagine that many Clubhouse originated broadcasters will eventually shift to podcasting and vlogging elsewhere, which both offer better monetization potential and broader audience reach instead.

Annons

Live chilling, as noted by Puri, is probably not the answer. But it seems that Clubhouse is increasingly seeing fewer choices as it works to recapture its early magic.

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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 meddelat 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.

Annons

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 här.

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