If you feel like Clubhouse seemed to come out of nowhere, you aren't wrong. The meteoric rise of the app occurred during the first year of the pandemic when it went from completely unknown to having more than ten million users.
In a world where social media has primarily been text, photo, and video-based, the Clubhouse app proposed a novel idea: what if we just talked?
Rather than the highly-edited and composed content on platforms like Twitter, Clubhouse offers the opportunity for people to exchange ideas in real-time. Regardless of why Clubhouse became so popular, it's hard to ignore just how quickly it rose to prominence, whether you're an experienced or an aspiring app developer.
Are you thinking of building an app that is similar to Clubhouse? Stick with us while we look at the nine steps you'll need to take.
Clubhouse is a social media app that is voice-only. Users can interact with each other over voice chat in "rooms." Members can create these rooms, and invitees only have to sign up with a name and a profile picture to become a member.
That's right– invitees. This audio app is invite-only, creating an air of exclusivity to the product. Only launched in the spring of 2020, it didn't take long for this app to become the 5th most popular Social Media Network app in the App Store.
In the rooms of Clubhouse, members can find a community built around different creators that are ongoing social spaces for discussion and conversation. When you first sign up, you're automatically muted and start by listening to the conversation of others.
To join Clubhouse, you have to be invited. Once you've received an invitation, you can set up your profile. As a part of your profile creation, you'll enter your interests and therefore receive suggested conversation rooms and people you might want to follow.
Once you're into the app, you'll find your main feed. This is where you can see chat rooms that are currently happening or those that will be soon. In each room, there are speakers, listeners, and moderators, and participants can raise a hand, add another person, or leave the room. The room is closed once the conversation is over.
In the explore section, users can find clubs, rooms, and people that they might be interested in. Users can either be added as a member by the club's creators, or they can follow a club.
If you want to invite someone else to join Clubhouse, you can do so in the invite section. Users can also see all of the rooms that have been created by the people they follow in the upcoming events tab, and they can see any and all happenings related to their membership in the activity section.
Let's take a look at some of the most prominent features offered by the Clubhouse app.
On a user's feed, they can see a list of rooms that they might be interested in.
Clubs are groups of members that are based on specific topics. This is a way for people worldwide to find each other on the app when they share similar interests.
Each user can create a profile with their name, picture, and a short description. Rather than being an exhausting explanation of who you are, these are brief little intros.
Users can also take a look at all of the activity that has occurred on their account recently. In this section, they can find out who has followed them, who has recently joined Clubhouse, and what events are going on.
When a new conversation starts or new members have joined a room that you might be interested in, you can receive a notification.
Users can search for people they want to follow or topics they're interested in. This helps them find clubs that match their interests and allows them to participate in conversations they find interesting and meaningful.
There is also a feature that lets users know about the upcoming calendar of events. If they see an event that they want to attend, they can set up an alert, so they are later reminded when it will start soon.
If you want to create an app similar to Clubhouse, you'll want to spend quite a bit of time with the app and identify its strengths and weaknesses. Basically, creating a carbon-copy of Clubhouse probably won't attract very many users. However, if you have ideas about how the general concept of Clubhouse could be improved upon, there's potential to create an entirely new online community through app development.
Performing market research is essential no matter what type of app you're creating. You will want to look into the existing competition and study the strengths and weaknesses of each of them. When you are aiming to create an app similar to one already on the market, (such as Clubhouse,) you'll want to come up with a way to create a competitive edge to give users a compelling reason to choose your app over the competition.
It doesn't matter if you create the most incredible app in the world– if a target audience isn't there that it appeals to, it won't be successful. You'll need to identify the precise demographics of people that you expect will want to use your app. Creating detailed outlines of buyer personas can help you understand the problems that these individuals have and how you can best solve them.
If you are building an app similar to Clubhouse, you will likely want to incorporate many of the same features. However, the app shouldn't just offer an identical set of features. After all, if you make your app just like Clubhouse, most users will likely stick with the better-known app than switch to a brand new alternative that doesn't seem to offer anything different.
It's easy to get carried away when choosing features for your app. Adding too many features can lead to an unpleasant user journey, making your app clunkier to use. Make sure you are being deliberate in your choice of features to ensure that your app has everything it needs and nothing it doesn't.
Now it's time to start designing your app. Consider creating a wireframe to create the basic skeleton to start with. While it can be tempting to try and create a finished product from the get-go, wireframing at an early stage can save you literally hundreds of hours in development.
Are you building a web app? If so, check out ten of the best tools to wireframe and prototype your web app.
Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is always a good idea when you're creating an app. This is a basic version of your app that allows you to get valuable feedback from your users before implementing the final stages of development.
We do a deep dive into the world of MVPs in this article, but, in short, this is a tool you can use to make the development process as efficient and successful as possible.
If you're planning on hiring a developer to build an MVP, make sure you check out these eight steps you should take before you hire someone.
Once you have built an MVP that has your app's basic and essential features, it's time to let users test the bare-bones version of your app. This can help you to work out any kinks before the product officially launches and also allow you to understand what users do and don't like about your app.
The outcome of this process is helping you and your team learn which aspects of your app you should put your focus on. Sometimes the result of user testing can be quite surprising. For example, a feature you expected would be a big hit might not be appealing to users, while another feature you added as an afterthought might be the main reason users are compelled to keep using the product.
Once you have gotten valuable feedback from users about your MVP, it's time to take all of that information and create your finished product. You'll want to remove any irrelevant features and focus on making improvements noted by test users.
Once you have completed the development and testing phases, it's time to put your app out into the world.
To launch your app, you'll need to submit them to the proper app stores. It's essential that you follow the guidelines of the app stores to the tee, whether it be App Store or Play Store. You can find tons of information online that will help you navigate the process.
It's worth noting that more than 40% of submitted apps are rejected by Apple's App Store every week, according to a CNBC report. There are a lot of reasons that an app might be rejected, including bugs, crashes, software compatibility, privacy policies, and minimum usability.
For this reason, you won't want to leave this step in the process as an afterthought. You'll want to incorporate an understanding of app store guidelines into the earlier stages of design and development to ensure that you won't face a distressing obstacle when you're finally ready to launch your app.
On the Google Play Store, there are about 2.87 million apps available for download. On the Apple App Store, you can find nearly 2 million apps.
This means that you can't simply launch your product and expect users to start lining up. The reality is that the world of apps is incredibly saturated. However, that doesn't mean there isn't still tons of opportunity for success.
It does mean, though, that you must find ways to put your product in front of your target audience. If you have done a good job in the market research and audience identification portion of the process, your audience will be happy to download your app when they know it will solve a problem they are motivated to fix.
Many giant corporations have enormous marketing budgets that they can use to plaster their new products in countless venues. However, a small app developer will probably have a smaller budget and therefore want to be thoughtful about where, when, and how you display advertising about your app.
If you're on a strict budget, you'll want to think about three things to determine the best marketing outlets.
First of all, what is the problem that your app solves? Secondly, who makes up your target audience? And, finally, where can you find those people?
You might find that most of your users have chosen Facebook as their preferred social media platform, and you, therefore, might focus your marketing efforts there, for example.
Judging from the incredible popularity of the Clubhouse app, it's obvious that the developers struck a chord with their user base. Something was lacking in the world of social media, and, particularly in the early days of the pandemic, people were itching for other ways to interact with one another virtually.
If the Clubhouse app inspires you, but you feel you can improve upon the idea, it might be time for you to build your own app. While you can certainly go it alone and build your own app, you might find that outsourcing some of the more technical aspects of the process is the most time and cost-effective way to achieve the outcome you're looking for.
Are you looking for the right people to partner with when it comes to building your new app? If so, drop us a line and tell us a little about your project.
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