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Clubhouse app trying to reinvent itself


Do you remember Clubhouse? During the height of pandemic lockdowns, the invite-only social audio app experienced a staggering 10-fold increase in monthly growth. However, it quickly faded from public conversation, almost as swiftly as a16z investors opened their wallets.

Now, Clubhouse is making a bold move in an attempt to regain relevance. Today, the company unveiled "the new Clubhouse," featuring a fresh format called "chats."

According to Clubhouse's blog post, envision a Chat as if your group texts and Instagram Stories had a lively conversation at the park, became fast friends, and fell in love.

To be more explicit, Clubhouse chats immerse you and your friends in an asynchronous group where you can send voice messages resembling entries in an Instagram story, rather than individual texts. Unlike iMessage, Clubhouse also transcribes these voice messages.

Chats can be set to friends only, or extended to friends of friends.

It's worth noting that this won't supplant live audio rooms, which will still be a part of Clubhouse. However, chats might motivate users to check in more frequently to hear from their friends, rather than focusing solely on whoever is hosting a live conversation at the moment.

This could represent a crucial opportunity for Clubhouse to live up to its initial hype after facing a prolonged period of challenges. In April, the company reduced its workforce by more than half, and less than a year prior to that, it underwent another round of layoffs. Fortunately for Clubhouse, the company asserts it still has several years of financial runway, but consumers may not be as forgiving in granting them additional chances to win back their loyalty.

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