Clubhouse is an audio-based social media network. Unique in its own way, Clubhouse once made many in the industry scrambling.
At that time, many in the competition started developing their own audio-based feature, as an approach to anticipate the huge surge of demand Clubhouse has helped create. But this time, things somehow go the other way around.
This is because Clubhouse is introducing what it calls the 'Backchannel'.
What it is, according to its announcement, is simply a direct messaging feature.
It gives users a way to start conversation, but behind the scene, on the audio-only app.
Backchannel offers both one-on-one messaging, as well as group chat for up to 15 participants.
As an addition to Clubhouse's existing audio approach, Backchannel allows speakers to organize in advance or coordinate live session through messaging while at the same time, running a room. They can also accept text-based questions, where some listeners can find it more comfortable.
The advantages of using Backchannel go beyond just that.
Because it allows users to share text, it also allows users to send links.
The messaging system also includes a message request area, where any incoming communication from unknown people is stored until approved by the intended recipient. Here, the messaging feature focuses on providing a more personal communication method, but only with people who know each other.
The functionality is also designed to help moderators chat among themselves during an active room, let people connect after a session, and entice users to foster conversations that otherwise would have to take place in a separate app.
With Backchannel, Clubhouse essentially create a way for its users to go somewhere in the corner for a little chat, in a voice-based rooms.
The disadvantages however, or at least at this time, is that it doesn't allow users to send images or videos.
Initially, Clubhouse's messaging system is introduced on both Clubhouse’s iOS and Android apps.
To use the feature, users can access it through that little paper airplane icon on people's profile, or by swiping right from the main menu.
My hat? Tipped
My mic? Flashed
My messaging? Direct.
After we unintentionally leaked their feature 5 times, here's our beloved engineering team introducing the new Clubhouse Backchannel pic.twitter.com/3bPHeGxQaZ
— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) July 14, 2021
While this feature makes Clubhouse a different entity than what it is already known for, the feature's arrival is predicted.
For a social media app that has been downloaded millions of times and has hundreds of thousands of rooms, Clubhouse needs to ensure that its users won't go anywhere far after having a session on its app.
Backchannel simply brings Clubhouse more up to par with others in the competition, by becoming a more social social media app.
While Clubhouse has certainly raised the bar on audio-based social media, it acknowledges that socializing should not be restricted to just using audio.
Humans are social creatures, and audio is just one media.
There are many more to explore, and Clubhouse here is doing just that.
While others try to imitate Clubhouse, Clubhouse is trying to have others' feature. Tech is after all, a circle.