Q: What’s Clubhouse?
A: An edgy chat room.
A: “Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations — with friends and other interesting people around the world,” says Clubhouse in its description. “Go online anytime to chat with the people you follow, or hop in as a listener and hear what others are talking about.” The app (currently only available on iOS) has also been described a hybrid of conference calls, talkback radio, and Houseparty without text or video.
Q: Explain, please.
A: “Rooms generally have speakers, the way conference panels do, and moderators. The conversation is in real time, meaning you can hear folks throwing in their opinions about the subject at hand, and you can raise your hand to toss in yours as well,” writes CNET.
Q: How long must I stay in a room that I join?
A: Browse discussions that are happening in different rooms, see who is participating in each, and jump in and out of chats, exiting via the “leave quietly” button.
Q: How and when did Clubhouse start?
A: The San Francisco-based app got a $12 million investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz about two months after launch when pandemic lockdown began in March 2020. Further funding rounds raised $110 million and a significant undisclosed amount of funding in a Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz was confirmed in January 2021.
Although details of the financial transaction weren’t revealed, it’s estimated that the company received a $1 billion evaluation.
As the hype has grown, so has the app’s audience, with Clubhouse going from 600,000 active users in December 2020, to 2 million just over a month later.
One of the latest tech startups to cross the billion-dollar valuation threshold, the group discussion platform got there in under one year with a staff of around 10 people.
Brian Solis, digital anthropologist and global innovation evangelist at Salesforce, knows the founders and was an early adopter. He sees parallels with the evolution of SXSW, which began as more intimate and homespun.
Q: Who can join? How much is it?
A: It’s free and in beta. Anyone can join with an invite from an existing user. The Twitter profile, @joinclubhouse, says: “Clubhouse is a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations. We are currently in private beta, download our app to join the waitlist – we’ll let you in soon!”
Q: Where can I find out more?
Google is making it easier to support Black-owned businesses. As from last summer, US merchants with a verified Google Business Profile could add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile in Google Search and Maps.
On Feb. 1, 2021 — Black History Month — Google extended the Black-owned attribute to the site’s Shopping tab. The label reads “identifies as Black-owned” and shows in the product listing results within Google Shopping. Business owners can add the Black-owned attribute by visiting the Google Merchant Help Center. The feature will be available to all US-based shops and visible to shoppers in the coming months, Google said in a blog post.
TwoSix Digital Says: Coming this spring, Apple rolls out the update to iOS14 that includes new user privacy protocols and data use policies. This will change the way you use Facebook Ads. Need expert help? TwoSix Digital takes you through the steps, explains how things are affected, and what you should do about it (or they can do it for you).
“In 2020, 58% of our link clicks on Facebook and Instagram came from iOS devices, accounting for 66% of users reached and 62% of ads delivered. In short, the majority, which is probably a fair reflection of how many Americans use Apple’s mobile devices. Consequently, these iOS14 updates will affect all digital marketing, and Facebook happens to be giving itself a head start.” More here.
Yelp is Hollering ‘Help’: Yelp wants to sublease its San Francisco headquarters as well as its office space in Chicago and New York City.
Instagram Confirms: It is working on a “Vertical Stories” feed, perhaps to emulate an element of TikTok’s design. Navigating with vertical swipes up and down would make stories behave more like Reels, the short form video feature that IG developed to compete with TikTok.
Pinterest Surged: The platform added 100 million users in 2020 and in Q4 revenue surged 76%.
Did you notice? Google Search changed its font on both desktop and mobile. If you care, read more here.