How Clubhouse built its Network Effect?

11 Growth Hack to Pull a Network Effect like Clubhouse (in random order)

A. Easy Creation Tool

Clubhouse is a content-first social platform where users create content by just talking, easiest and effective means to converse with the audience, this same applies to Tik Tok it also has an easy way to create content. For clubhouse, it's just a click & talk.

B. Private

Network effects are always public which means the platform is easily accessible to everyone but clubhouse created FOMO with private access or waitlist thus helped them to create fear of missing out and in turn made more users to get on the waitlist and ask for invites.

C. Initial Endorsement

It came from celebrities of fields like tech startups, Hollywood, venture capitalist, music, sports and others this helped clubhouse to build trust and reach to more users at scale.

D. Exclusivity of invite/referrals

Clubhouse users can only invite 1 person on the platform, and as already first 3 points made users join waitlist but without an invite, they won't be able to join thus created this viral loop of sharing invite to peers on social media which in turn again got new eyeballs for them and more new users started asking for the invite on threads, groups, forums and all other possible places.

E. Social Currency

With all of the above happening, the users who got the access now feels like exclusive & thus shares to the world about their experience & thus it makes other users join the platform as they also want to earn that social currency & wants to be seen cool.

F. iOS

With times we have seen exclusive apps perform better on iOS than Android, as already the iOS community is very close, connected and more trusted to each other because of the underlying love for platform and apps these type of exclusive apps do perform better there.

G. Public Relations, not PR

Clubhouse got a great start with a discussion of it's $100 million valuation and due to this they first got introduced in the tech world and later spread in other fields and since the launch, they are always in the discussions.

H. Team & Community

Clubhouse team did a perfect job to tap into the communities & leaders and giving access to them to create room on the clubhouse, I still remember around July 2020 or something @jatin10 was telling me to conduct an event on Clubhouse as their community manager or someone got in touch with him to share the invite and will also help with onboarding and further details to plan an event.

I. Timing

I feel the timing of the clubhouse couldn't be more perfect than this, launched in the times when the world was entering a pandemic, a perfect time by luck or strategically I don't know but great timing.

J. Silicon Valley

All locations can create network effect but if done right then Silicon Valley can surely help you start & catapult a network effect to a greater extent as things which are popular here get easy acceptance to a global audience and moreover social currency plays it part in the rest of world.

K. Tailwinds

Unlike connection first platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn clubhouse is creation first platform and it has got some fantastic tailwinds like

  1. the rise of creators

  2. podcast growth

  3. acceptance of the audio first approach

  4. the need for realtime personal connection and engagement

  5. lookout for next/alternative social/cool platform

  6. tech/startup trends

Let me know if I have missed something or you would like to add to the list & also comment down below to share other relevant hacks & tactics to build network effects in product and services & see you guys in the next one till then happy hacking.

Article published here: https://malavwarke.substack.com/p/how-clubhouse-built-its-network-effect

PS: yes you can also use the comment section to share clubhouse invites :p

  1. 4

    Thanks for breaking it down like that! I was pretty confused when I saw the $1B valuation as Clubhouse is really nothing special technology wise. It’s interesting to get a feeling of how they got there!

    1. 1

      These days it’s not about now innovative you can be with proprietary software (tho that still plays an important role)..it’s more about how well you can curate features for an audience using behavioural economics principles

    2. 1

      yeah totally can relate to you, thanks for the feedback:)

  2. 2

    Just to add some more perspective why only iOS based app is launched first than the android version .

    Now in India according to a market research company only 0.03% to 0.06% comprises for iOS market and have seen a 75% rise in CAGR with respect to Indian market.

    Growth hack is VC's,Capitalist & subject matter expert did drive all the promotion eg Naval and Balaji's clubhouse on Indian startup's.On this event .Are you even a startup enthusiast if you don't follow these bigshots.

    Outcome : FOMO lead to buying of Iphones as well as downloads for the IOS app.

    From Twitter conversation these days ,there is a mixed reaction or sentiment on using Clubhouse.

    Folks who want to chime in the conversation with audio/ hearing mode rather than a Persicope or a Snapchat are comfortable joining in the rooms.

    Today Ryan Hoover (founder of Product Hunt) also joined the bandwagon by creating a clubhouse for Producthunt or product folks.

    Inshort Marketers ,SEO consultants,online makers , creators,Product makers, VC, Capitalist etc nobody wants to miss this party .It's ok to be late to this party though ,however everybody's is making sure that they hop on this train.

    Even got to see a tweet Clubhouse for Antakshari ( Indian time pass game for songs).Just can believe though how a product can be used by the user.

    1. 1

      well said alma, great articulation definitely in India it has created a lot of FOMO and can't deny the fact of rising usage of iOS.

  3. 1

    Agreed!Thanks for sharing your thoughs. How about Airpod sales? It is kinda related to potcast growth. but It is one of the factor.

    1. 1

      Ha yes but not sure definitely both have had the rise in the same period and are much related as well but might need more data to corelate but great observation, not thought of that earlier, thanks:)

  4. 1

    The network effect is a really interesting issue. I actually wonder if it's the opposite case, and that the quality of conversations will deteriorate once more users start using it? Right now it seems to be somewhat curated, with some high profile names. Not sure what will happen when it becomes a free-for-all.

    I was also wondering how Clubhouse managed to create so much hype about its product when it's still in beta (and for iphones only) and came across this article talking about some product psychology concepts that they use, which I thought was interesting: https://thisweekintech.substack.com/p/welcome-to-the-clubhouse

    1. 2

      yes true that I think once it becomes freer, open and easily accessible the discussion quality will get reduced and moderation will get in picture, even now we are seeing the rooms of more than 1000 folks. I feel clubhouse aha moment lies in the less number thus and it would be difficult to say how they proceed further, let's see how it goes. btw a great share, thanks for sharing it:)

  5. 1

    In addition to all these observations for their success, they entered a field that was not very crowded - audio.

    Quick anecdote:

    We MVP'd an early audio startup in 2018 called My Clubhouse (nothing to do with social networks) that we launched on Amazon Alexa. The Alexa user base was one of the few platforms that had some density and growth and while the concept was well received by the private clubs (our users) and their affluent members, audio still felt foreign and certainly not worthy of being included in their annual budgets.

    Three years on, and while this consumer-facing product Clubhouse seems likely to succeed, the users of our original concept are still stuck on using Alexa for the weather, cooking timers, simple math calculations and trivia.

    Could be timing, could be target-market, definitely product. It'll be interesting to see how Clubhouse and audio in general plays in the Enterprise - in our case it was luxury hospitality.

  6. 1

    Love this! Thank you for sharing @malavwarke. I've linked to this in an upcoming article on IH. C

    1. 1

      thanks for the feedback, trying my best. Thanks for the share:)

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