Downloads Are Down 99.8% Since Peak for This App, And It's Not Threads!
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A lot of attention has been given to Threads, Meta's Twitter (aka X) clone that came and went in a social media spectacle. Maybe it was just an experiment?
Well, there's another "experiment" of sorts that exploded a few years ago but has since lost nearly all momentum.
If you haven't guessed yet, I'm talking about Clubhouse, the audio-first social network that never really worked out.
Last week, Clubhouse broke with tradition and changed its icon from an elaborate photoshoot to the official logo (which is a simple emoji), and it got me wondering - where is Clubhouse now?
I've covered Clubhouse more than once since its launch at the end of 2020, and it's really been all over the place.
Clubhouse launched in September quietly, as an invite-only iOS app. It saw just 3K downloads that month. You'd expect that to greatly limit its downloads, but instead, the app went viral and downloads started rising fast.
December brought 730K downloads, January doubled to 1.5M and in February of 2020, Clubhouse saw 5.5M downloads.
Still, an iPhone-only app.
Downloads dropped until Clubhouse released an Android version, and in June of 2021, downloads spiked again to 7.8M.
But, that was Clubhouse's last spike. Downloads started dropping quickly and December of 2021 saw just 1M downloads.
It gets worse - December of 2022 saw just 274K new downloads, according to our estimates.
The shocking drop, in my opinion, was the result of three things.
- Clubhouse, as a product, didn't really improve over those years. The core functionality remained the same. That was a small mistake. At the same time, every other social media platform added voice. I think X won that race.
- Clubhouse didn't reward creators like other platforms promised at the time. Now it's pretty standard. Clubhouse said they would, but I don't think that ever happened. That was a big mistake.
- Covid and lockdowns ended. People went back to their normal routines, and those routines didn't have room for real-time voice sessions. Unlike podcasts, real-time voice requires being on when it happens, and that's much more challenging.
The Points of No Return
2023 might be the year that will see Clubhouse's demise.
Growth has dropped so low that the app will soon lose the word of mouth that's been allowing it to remain relevant.
According to our estimates, downloads have dropped from around 10K in January to 4K in September. And that's across both the App Store and Google Play.
Clubhouse saw just 141K downloads in August, dropping from 275K in January. At this rate, demand, which is not linear at this level, will drop into the single thousands by early 2024. I don't think Clubhouse can recover from that.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.