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All it takes was to have Elon Musk stepping into a chatroom and news of the invite-only audio chat app gone viral. According to Pitchbook, the Clubhouse voice chat, which was launched in March 2020, is now valued up to an astounding $1 billion.
The app is now only available on iOS, but an Android version is currently being developed to cater to a larger mobile user base. Clubhouse has seen 2.4 million downloads at the moment of writing, with half of them happening in January 2021 alone.
The influencing effect of Elon Musk aside, Clubhouse’s rise to popularity is a testament that there are still opportunities in the seemingly-crowded space of social media apps. As long as an app is unique and user-friendly, it stands a chance to differentiate itself from competitors and attract a sizeable user base.
In this article, we’ll show you a step-by-step guide on how to build a spontaneous voice chat app like Clubhouse.
What is Clubhouse
Clubhouse is a voice-only social media app where users can join rooms and interact with each other via voice chat. After signing up with a name and profile picture, users are taken to a list of rooms created by other members.
The rooms are a tight-knitted community centered around the creator, and you can join and sit through the on-going discussion. All users are automatically muted during sign up, but they can unmute themselves when and as they deem fit to participate in the conversations.
Joining Clubhouse is by invitation only, which makes it an exclusive and unique social media app.
Why Is Clubhouse so popular?
Not everyone wants to be a Video-based app like TikTok, as getting on the screen can be overwhelming for camera-shy users. Being a voice-only app, Clubhouse appeals to users who are tired of video interaction. Besides, it is easier to be spontaneous and natural with voice chat.
Part of the reason why Clubhouse is proving such a hit is the demand for alternative avenues to connect users amid the Covid pandemic. It offers a simple way of getting in touch with the community without video and text fuss.
Clubhouse’s appeal also lies in its secrecy. No conversations are ever recorded in the app. If you want to join a conversation, you’ll have to be present at the moment it takes place.
Onboarding - New users signing up for the app would be asked to fill in their names and upload a profile picture. Once that’s done, users are allowed to join any rooms as they wish.
Feed - A list of rooms that may be of interest are shown on the feed.
User Profiles - No fancy introductions are required on Clubhouse. Only name, profile picture, and a short description are needed.
Clubs - Clubs are groups that are created around topics. They help to bring people with the same interest together.
Search - Allows users to search for topics and personalities of interest.
Upcoming For You - A schedule of events like discussions that are yet to come. Users can opt to be alerted of selected events.
Activity - A historical log of activities on your account. You can find out who is following you, new members, and on-going events in Clubhouse.
Notifications - This allows you to be notified of interesting events like the start of a new conversation or new members joining a room.
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6 Steps to build an app like Clubhouse
Here are the six steps that will put you on the right track if you’re building a voice chat app like Clubhouse.
Step 1 - Conduct Market Research
You don’t want to be just another Clubhouse or any of the social media apps already in the market. Your app needs to be unique, purposeful, and solve real problems. Therefore, you need to devote your full attention to conducting market research.
Take the opportunity to study how the competitor’s apps work and how they appeal to the users. Look into their strengths and weaknesses to find opportunities to develop a competitive edge for your app.
With properly-conducted research, you can identify marketing strategies that have lead to your competitor’s success and adapt them accordingly in your plan.
Step 2 - Conduct Target Audience Research
Your app’s success hinge on how well you understand the target audience you’re marketing to. You’ll need to secure information like demographics, preferences, and problems of the app’s potential users. Instead of relying on numbers, the best way to know your audience right is to get to the ground.
Holding one-on-one interviews with potential users effectively collect valuable information that guides the app development. You can schedule interview questions to discover the users’ problems and generate ideas toward solving them. The participants are also likely to be a ready pool of users when the app launches.
Interviews can be taxing in both time and resources. If you can’t hold as many interviews as you wish, you can complement it with creating proto personas and building a customer journey map around them. Proto personas are created based on your intuition, and the customer journey map charts out every possible interaction between the persona with the app.
Step 3 - Create a User-Friendly and Intuitive Design
There is very little room for error in a marketplace that’s crowded with apps. Your app needs to be designed with user experience and intuitiveness in mind. A couple of crashes and users struggling to navigate an app are enough to rob the app of any chance of success.
Visual appeal isn’t enough to captivate and retain app users. You’ll need to have a deeper understanding on what user wants from the app and deliver.
For example, Tinder focuses on speed during the early development stage. However, getting quick results for the matches isn’t meaningful if they aren’t relevant. Tinder then changes its algorithm to provide a better match with a slight delay in results. That’s how it manages to establish itself as the top social dating app.
Likewise, you’ll need to consider the different types of users using the voice chat app. If the primary audience is influencers, you’ll want to include features to produce content easily and connect with their followers. At the same time, you’ll want to ensure the app is equally intuitive for the followers, which may be made up of young adults.
Striking a balance between visual appeal and functionality is tough. However, it’s essential if you’ll want to build an app that’s appealing to all targeted users.
Step 4 - Build an MVP
You could have a long wishlist of what must be featured in the voice chat app. However, it isn’t feasible to build the app with all its features from the start. It’s costly and could delay the time-to-market. Instead, you’ll want to build an MVP and test out the core ideas as quickly as you can.
An MVP is a working app that consists of only the essential features. Features that could enhance the user experience but not necessary for the app to function are omitted in the MVP. Launching an MVP allows you and the development team to fine-tune on core issues that affect the apps’ functionality and marketing appeal.
The dilemma in building an MVP is deciding which features are deemed essential and which are considered as good-to-haves. You can start by listing down the specific opportunity statements and the related features in the product roadmap. Then, use the prioritization matrix to identify features that take low effort but deliver high impact when developed.
You’ll likely want to include impactful features that require a minimum effort in the MVP and keep others for future releases.
Step 5 - Launch Marketing Campaign
Ideally, you’ll want to get the words out before the app is launched. Having strategic marketing in place would help. You may want to reach out to influential personalities to try out the app and share the experience with their followers. Getting featured in prominent publications is good for exposure and may attract new users.
It also helps to build a website and publish blogs that are interesting to the target users. Employ an email capture form to collect a list of subscribers. The list can be used to inform the subscribers when you’re launching the app. Don’t forget to optimize your app listing on Apple and Google app stores for better visibility.
Step 6 - Collect Feedback
Once users are trying out the MVP release, you’ll want to be on the alert of potential issues and determine if the app is meeting its purpose. There’s nothing better to point you in the right direction than soliciting feedback from users who have tried out the app.
Rather than banking on analytics, it’s best to interview users for feedback on their experience in using the app. Through the feedback, you’ll pinpoint issues and areas of improvement that can be acted on in the next release.
Social media is an ever-evolving niche. To ensure your app remain relevant, you’ll want to make feedback part of your long term strategies in maintaining the app.
Why can we help you to build an app?
We may not be able to get Elon Musk on your app, but we can build a voice chat app like Clubhouse that has the potential to do so.
Uptech is experienced in building successful social media apps. One of our finest examples is Yaza. Yaza allows users to record authentic videos, sorted as memory maps, and share them with their friends. It inspired users to live in the moment and save them as precious memories.
Yaza has all the features needed in a social media app that adds value to users. Users can create content, observe, react and share the video with their circles of friends. The app also has a chat feature to bring the users closer through conversation.
The development of Yaza is centered around these business goals:
- Turning user experience into a visualized map.
- Increase exchanges of video content between users.
- Locate interesting places efficiently via quick map research, user recommendations, behavioral research, and product interaction.
Part of the success of Yaza is attributed to the detailed validation process that it’s put through. We ensure that the idea and concept of such an app are validated against real users. Also, we identified basic features that matter the most to the users from the discussions and narrowed them down.
Guided by the core features, we’ve built an MVP and improvised upon feedback.
Clubhouse has proven that is still room for new social media apps, particularly with the change of lifestyle during the pandemic. The key to success is building one that is unique, purposeful, and well-targeted.
Our experience with Yaza will be handy in helping you to build a voice chat app like Clubhouse. Get in touch with our team to put your brilliant ideas into action.