As the digital revolution continues, new social media platforms have been popping up left, right and centre. Many platforms fade into obscurity, but one platform has recently been creating a buzz, and it’s called Clubhouse.
Clubhouse is considered a “drop-in audio chat” platform that allows users to enter live audio chat rooms that usually follow a pre-agreed theme. The app has filled a previously unnoticed void in the social networking realm and has seen a significant boom since the onset of the pandemic due to social distancing protocols.
When you think of social media platforms, a few prominent names immediately come to mind—Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As these platforms strive to maintain their relevance and user base, they often adopt features from neighbouring platforms. Just as Instagram adapted stories from Snapchat, now Twitter has adapted Spaces from Clubhouse. Now, as recent history has proven, there can only be one… one to rule them all.
This spawn sets the stage for a clash between platforms with one question on everyone’s mind... where will you be heard?
Before we go toe to toe on what one platform can do that the other can't, let's first talk about the essential features that the platforms have in common.
Spaces and Clubhouse are social media platforms that both allow their users to engage in audio-based conversations. Unfortunately, these conversations are live and can’t be paused, rewound, fast-forwarded or saved for later. In addition, they both are relatively new contenders in the ring, so they still have a lot of kinks and bugs to work on.
As for usability, they are more or less the same. There is at least one host, which you’ll see at the very top of the room or space and below, you’ll find the group of active listeners. Sadly, there is currently no way to search for active discussions to participate in on either platform.
So what makes them so different?
What does Twitter Spaces have that Clubhouse doesn’t?
It’s super easy and much more convenient, in our opinion, to connect privately with someone you interact with on Spaces. Because Spaces is literally in the Twitter app, you can visit a user’s profile and send them a message to start or continue a more private chat. Clubhouse, however, does not have this functionality (as yet, maybe). To chat with another user, you’d have to navigate to their Twitter or Instagram account, that is, if they even have it linked.
Kind of in line with the previous point (but not really), Spaces allows you to communicate with text in the form of a tweet. It pops up inside the “space” for all tuned in to view and read. We think that’s a great way to get real-time feedback from your audience. Businesses use these as a call to action. Clubhouse, unfortunately, does not allow participants to comment in this way.
This third strength is particularly beneficial for businesses or persons building a brand in general. Hosts of spaces can choose to keep a transcript of the conversation. This is content heaven for marketers. There are many ways to repurpose transcripts, like blog posts, email marketing and even quote posts or social media.
What does Clubhouse have that Twitter Spaces doesn’t?
When it comes to Clubhouse, you can have a room with an unlimited number of speakers. So everyone can get their turn to contribute to the conversation and make their voices heard. On the other hand, you are limited to only ten speakers on Twitter Spaces, so everyone else who joins after the speakers are selected will automatically be listeners.
You can create your clubs within the app, which is very similar to Facebook Groups. The idea behind clubs is that you can curate a space that centres around a particular interest or industry where like-minded people can gather and chat about it to their heart's content. The club’s creator can schedule clubs regularly and invite others to participate in the conversation, which gives their audience something to look forward to.
Clubhouse also has a level of exclusivity that Twitter Spaces cannot match. For example, rooms on Clubhouse have the option of being private or open to the public. So you can say “you can’t sit with us”. This exclusivity gives users the freedom to curate their space with people they want present and to shut out outsiders who would not be relevant to discussions.
Social media platforms being the hangout spots for internet users, present unique opportunities for businesses to reach current and potential clients. This review would not be complete without a list of business applications we’ve identified on these platforms.
As the platform is relatively new, the business opportunities here are only limited by your imagination. We have witnessed business entities using the platform for casual Q&As about their products and services to audio game shows and giveaways. However, the platform is still in its infancy stages, so the onus is on businesses and everyday users to set the standard for interactions.
If we are to liken the platform to traditional radio stations, we can say that similar to how ads and radio shows can be paid for, businesses can pay for publicity on Clubhouse. As the platform features “Clubs”, a few early adopters (companies) have been throwing dollars at popular clubs and their rooms to push their agendas. As the platform continues to grow, we expect these activities to become more common.
Clubs and rooms on the platform have been utilising this business application, and we think it could be of great benefit to you. Of course, the frequency of these discussions are up to you, but they can be an excellent opportunity for businesses to offer value through tackling relevant issues and topics. One such room we’ve tuned into was Closing Business Deals with the renowned negotiator, Chris Voss. Not only was the discussion insightful, but he was also able to promote his contact information (website, social media etc.) while also leading interested parties to courses and books that they could purchase.
Twitter has been the social networking platform where businesses develop and refine their brand voice. The text centred format of the platform’s primary content allowed brands to adapt cheeky, sarcastic, proud or several other personas. The introduction of Spaces has expanded this capability by enabling brand representatives to add a vocal component to their already existing brand voice.
As virtual events have risen in popularity due to the pandemic, Twitter spaces have given brands yet another platform that they can utilise for virtual live events. Depending on the industry, businesses can use spaces for live announcements, open forums, impromptu focus groups, listening parties etc. In our time using this platform, we saw an instance where a news reporter held space with two government officials from a prominent Caribbean island that garnered 4000+ active listeners.
Unlike Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces is a new feature on an established platform. This means that the following built over time on Twitter is now even more accessible. At first thought, this may not seem as profound. Still, you should consider that Twitter Spaces offers an inbound marketing option compared to the standard disruptive format of social media marketing. Now businesses have the opportunity to draw their audience in with valuable content and meaningful interactions, which increases the chances of them converting.
Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces are both contending neck and neck to win people over; they want you to choose their platform for all of your live audio content. These live audio platforms are seeing an increase in traction. Twitter Spaces allows you to reach your existing Twitter audience. This opens you up to engaging them more and hearing back from your audience. This can be very beneficial whether you are using it for personal or business purposes. However, on the other side of the ring, Clubhouse takes this to a different level as you can create clubs geared towards creating a community of people who want to listen to your content and contribute to the conversation. So which platform are you willing to bet on? Will you be using Spaces or Clubhouse anytime soon? Or if you already tested both, which do you prefer?
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