Clubhouse, a social network focused on live audio chat, launched in 2020 and quickly gained popularity, prompting competitors like Facebook and Twitter to announce their live audio platforms. However, three years later, the platform struggles to remain relevant and has laid off more than half its employees.
How Clubhouse went from hit to flop: Founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth confirmed in a letter that the company is downsizing to keep up with the post-pandemic world. In 2020, Clubhouse’s success was partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led people to seek out ways to connect with others safely. Celebrities joining the platform in its early days also helped attract more users.
Clubhouse faced competition from other platforms, with Twitter’s Spaces, a live audio feature integrated into the main app, being a game-changer. As the world moves forward after the pandemic, fewer people are interested in chatting online, and many have found it challenging to fit long conversations into their daily lives.
To reinvent itself, Clubhouse plans to create a minor team and work on a new app version, which the company believes will be faster and more effective. The affected employees will receive four months’ pay and be allowed to keep their work laptops. It remains unclear what changes the new version will bring, and only time will tell if Clubhouse 2.0 will be as successful as the original.