For a while now we need to be prepared to see an innovation gain popularity overnight. New ideas and technologies are always emerging. In this context, the innovation that has been stirring the internet the most recently is the Clubhouse.
The audio-only social network appeared on everyone’s feed after big names like Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey appeared there. But fame also raised several questions about the app: and Android users, when will they have access? How long will the invitation system work? Is it a fad or is it really functional and profitable? What about accessibility for people with hearing impairments?
What is the future of the Clubhouse?
There are many pertinent issues to be debated, and I believe that the best way to clarify these doubts is to understand the paths that the Clubhouse can take. More than just observing how it works today, I propose a reflection on what it can become in the near future and how we can prepare ourselves to take advantage of it in the best possible way.
We already know, for example, that voice conversations take place live, without editing and without recording. This is one of the most striking points of the Clubhouse. But how will mediation work in rooms with many people, since the requests for speech can become greater than the mediator is able to coordinate? And the fight for audience with other voice channels – which will inevitably arrive, as already seems to be the case with Instagram and Twitter? Not to mention data security, since end-to-end encryption remains exclusive to WhatsApp.
Another point is: how to monitor and act on the shared content? Hate speeches must always be combated, but there is still no technology as effective in identifying them by audio, at the same level that is possible by text. How to prevent harmful use? This is a question that must be born with any innovation, especially a social network.
You see, I am not asking these questions to criticize the Clubhouse, but to remind you that there is a long way to go. I really like the idea of a social network with these characteristics and I see its arrival as an advance for marketing and communication.
And the potential of this application for the communication area is really huge. See what you can explore, just thinking over it:
more humanized contacts between brands and customers, including customer service;
coverage of major events in a more personal and simplified way;
lectures with public participation, simulating face-to-face experience;
entire classes or courses on the most diverse topics;
contests or sweepstakes that have as a prize the direct conversation with great personalities.
A world of possibilities
The fact is, people can come in to have fun, learn or connect, and there is a world of marketing possibilities between these activities. So, is the Clubhouse a useful tool? Certainly. Can he change social media as we know it and make everyone have to adapt? Certainly. It would not be prudent to ignore this possibility.
Still, this is just what we have at the moment: a possibility. We can enjoy and be cautious at the same time. Improvements take time, but the buzz comes and goes very quickly. It is natural to want to make the most of it, but certain precautions must be taken.
My tip is to keep an ear open for the news that the Clubhouse will bring to the table, but don’t be too hasty. All the questions in this text must be asked and, when answers come up, we need to think about others. That’s how it all develops. And, if we want to embark on a new journey, it is also our responsibility to see where we are going.
André Palis, a columnist for TecMundo, worked at Google before he started. He founded Raccoon in 2013, in São Carlos, an important technology hub in the State of São Paulo, and in 8 years acquired the portfolio of major players in the market, such as Vivara, Natura, Leroy Merlin and Centauro. In 2013, he noticed a gap in the digital market, resigned from Google and, alongside Marco Túlio Kehdi, founded Raccoon, a full service agency that acts as a strategic partner throughout the digital chain.