How to Create a Voice Chat App Like Clubhouse
Forget the invitation. Just jump into the conversation. This is the idea driving a new social startup called Clubhouse that’s ready to take advantage of people’s flexible quarantine schedules. In this article, we share insights into the Clubhouse app. Find out what this secret spontaneous chat app is all about.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse, a voice-based social network where users spontaneously engage in voice chats, was the most talked about startup in 2020. In mid-May, the service caused a wave of discussion when American venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, whose portfolio contains BuzzFeed and Coinbase, invested in it.
Investment in Clubhouse totaled $10 million in round A and $2 million in the sale of secondary shares according to Forbes. Investors estimated the application to be worth $100 million, but Forbes reports the service has received offers from other investors who are ready to evaluate the project at up to $200 million.
Clubhouse is a voice chat network. When you enter the app, you see a list of virtual rooms created by people to whom you’re subscribed. You can enter these rooms at any time and turn on your microphone or remain a listener.
To start a conversation or be invited to a conversation, just click the Raise your hand button at the bottom of the screen and the creator of the room will decide whom to give the floor to. CNBC compares this to panel discussions at conferences where listeners can ask questions along the way.
The service has already been tested by stars such as actors Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Hart and musician Jared Leto. According to CNBC, Clubhouse creator Paul Davison also occasionally walks into chats for a few minutes to get opinions on the app.
The audio format has found popularity among those who are “busy with their eyes” — those who are on their way to work or university, driving, playing sports, or doing other activities.
Clubhouse provides an exclusive experience for iOS (in particular, for AirPods) and offers a mix of live streaming and podcasting to a select group of popular influencers, mainly in the startup and tech communities.
The app is focused on people who have done something outstanding or noteworthy. These individuals usually have tens of thousands of Twitter followers and existing audiences.
When you log in to the Clubhouse app and browse the list of rooms, you’ll notice they’re focused not on topics but on individual influencers. The name of a room is determined by who is currently speaking. So you can get a notification to join the room where Sahil, Drew, and Tyler are talking, for example.
Why voice chat works
Video calls have fixed users in their places. Mobile apps may exist for Zoom, Teams, and Google Meet, but the culture of these apps revolves around the office, which doesn’t allow people to use them casually.
The move from computers to phones and AirPods gives users mobility. Removing video reduces friction and eliminates the need to prepare to call, giving people more flexibility in deciding how to communicate with others.
Clubhouse introduces a new way to interact that can be more spontaneous, casual, and frequent than a Zoom call.
Clubhouse saves nothing, so you have to be there or you’ll miss the conversation. Unlike the majority of social network applications, where people can follow the news the next day, Clubhouse is a place you have to be in order not to miss anything. No conversations are recorded, and transcripts are not available later.
This creates a feeling of urgency and makes every call important and unique. This not only encourages people to spend time in the app but also makes the time spent in Clubhouse feel more like a personal offline conversation.
Clubhouse features explained
Clubhouse is still not available in the app stores, and for now, it uses an invite-only model. New users receive a TestFlight link and are personally greeted by the app’s creator, who explains how it works. In this article, we’ll show you insights into this secret chat app. If you want to create a similar app, the list of core features of Clubhouse might come in handy.
Once you’re in Clubhouse, you’re asked to enter your real name and provide a photo. right from the start, you can join any room you like. By default, all new users are muted, but you can unmute yourself any time you want.
When you open your feed, you’ll see a number of different discussions that are called rooms. You can see the name of each room and all the people who are in it.
A room is a place where discussions happen. You can view rooms, join existing rooms, and create your own rooms. To do that, you need to press the Start a room button on the bottom of the screen. In a room, you can raise your hand to politely interrupt the speaker or ask to speak. When you wish to leave a room, you can announce you’re leaving or press the Leave quietly button. Also, speakers can invite others to speak in the room.
User profiles consist of a picture, name, and short description. When you’re in a room, you can view who’s currently speaking and check out their account. You can also see the clubs a user is a member of and see who has invited a user to discussions and when. This is similar to Twitter, where you can follow someone and see that person’s follower/following numbers on their personal profile.
The clubs feature is similar to Facebook groups. You can join clubs that you’re interested in and easily find people with the same interests. In these clubs, you can view and add members and suggest discussion topics.
Search is a useful feature for any social media application with live content. In Clubhouse, you can search for chat topics and people you want to follow.
Upcoming for you
In this section, you can view upcoming discussions. Upcoming for you looks like a schedule of events, with names of conversations, start times, speakers, and short topic descriptions. Clicking the bell icon shows reminders of when chats will start.
In the activity tab, you can see the history of interactions with your account, including who followed you. You can find out who just joined the app, the clubs someone is in, and scheduled events.
As in any other social media applications, Clubhouse uses push notifications to improve user engagement and inform users about events, such as when a person they follow starts a new room.
Four steps to develop a spontaneous voice chat app
Here are four steps to make your spontaneous voice chat app idea come to life and simplify the development process.
1. Research your app’s target market
When developing a spontaneous voice chat app, the first thing you need to consider is the target audience. Understanding your users’ needs makes development easier and leads to a better final product. Find out as much as you can about your potential users. You can start by researching the following:
- Demographics. Find out the average age of your users, where they live, what devices they use, etc.
- Behavioral trends. Find out what decreases a user’s desire to download an app, your users’ security expectations, and so on.
To develop an amazing mobile application, we suggest creating a user persona, or a detailed portrait of your ideal user.
2. Choose a monetization model
The next step is to choose the right monetization model for your mobile application. Now that you know your users’ needs, you can predict what your users will pay for. Here are three monetization models to choose from:
- Paid. This monetization model is quite straightforward: users pay once to access your app.
- Freemium. With this model, users can download your app for free. They can then pay to upgrade their accounts or use premium features.
- In-app purchases. With in-app purchases, users can pay for different items and features.
- Advertising. You can choose one of the following ad options:
- Cost per click. Charge advertisers every time a user interacts with their ads in your app.
- Cost per mille. Charge advertisers for every 1,000 ad impressions in your app.
- Cost per action. Charge advertisers only when users complete a target action, such as installing an app or signing up for a newsletter.
3. Hire an app development team
The third step is to find a development team you want to work with. The first phase of development will include business analysis, developing a technical specification, estimating the development cost, and planning the project. Before diving into the actual development of your spontaneous voice chat app, you and your team should set up an app development workflow, choose the main features for the app, and design the app concept.
Then your development team should create project milestones and start working on the minimum viable product, or MVP.
4. Create an MVP
Creating a spontaneous voice chat app is a big and complex project. We recommend launching a minimum viable product first and testing its technical and business performance. By using an MVP approach, you’ll be able to find out what users like and don’t like in your app. Then you’ll be able to consider their feedback and improve your app.
How much does it cost to build a spontaneous voice chat app?
The cost of developing a spontaneous voice chat app depends on these factors:
- Product features
- Product design
- Hourly rate of your development team
- Project size and complexity
- Technology stack
- Number of team members on the project
- Time frame
The biggest factor that influences a project’s cost is the hourly rate of developers, and that often depends on their location. For example, an application that costs $40,000 to build in the US will cost around $9,000 if developed by engineers in Ukraine.
Developing your project with a company based in Eastern Europe is cost-effective and gives you access to top talent.
Quick summary of the Clubhouse voice chat app
A spontaneous voice chat app, if developed correctly, can become successful and bring a lot of value to users.
- Clubhouse is a voice-based social network where users spontaneously engage in chats.
- Investment in Clubhouse totaled $10 million in round A and $2 million in the sale of secondary shares. Investors estimated the application at $100 million, but the service has received offers from other investors who are ready to evaluate the project at up to $200 million.
- The move from computers to phones and AirPods has given users mobility. Removing video from chats reduces friction and eliminates the need to prepare to call, giving people more flexibility in deciding how to communicate with others.
- The Clubhouse app saves nothing, creating a feeling of urgency and making every call important and unique. This not only encourages people to spend time in the app but also makes time spent in Clubhouse feel more like a personal offline conversation.
- AirPods are more important than you might think. They signal the emergence of a new platform for human–computer interactions rather than just a convenient accessory for listening to music.
If you want to create a spontaneous voice chat app but don’t know where to start, contact Mobindustry for a free consultation.