This guest article on Applozic Blog was written by Parth Bari. Parth is a web developer with expertise in Frontend technologies. He shares his knowledge by writing blog posts, giving tech talks at conferences and mentoring people on web development. You can find Nikhil on his LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.
If someone told you about an audio room-type social media platform way back in 2010, would you have believed it? However, there is no denying the fact that among so many video-based social media apps like TikTok, Instagram, or youtube, Clubhouse is a fresh breath of air.
As of April 2021, the Clubhouse app achieved 13 million downloads and grew very rapidly, almost like a wildfire. It has seen an increase of 600000 users since December of 2020. With more than 10 million weekly users spending 11-22 hours on the app, Clubhouse has become massive.
But the question remains what a Clubhouse is?
Imagine an application on your phone that allows you to listen to people’s live conversations without breaking into their privacy. These people can be celebrities or even experts in their fields. You can join their chat and even express your views through the audio chat rooms.
But then again, how does Clubhouse generate revenue?
The clubhouse is a free audio chat room application; there are no conventional ways to generate revenues. However, recently, social media apps have introduced a payments feature where users can pay their favourite creators and speakers.
Though you can use the core concept of Clubhouse to your advantage by adding a source of revenue, these can be membership fees, advertisements, B2B partnerships, and others. The audio marketing paradigm has also come a long way from Radio-based promotions and even podcasts which you can leverage for revenue generation. So the next thing that will come to your mind is- HOW?
The answer is here with a comprehensive guide on how to build an app like Clubhouse!
Surveying Pain Point
The first step towards ideating an application like clubhouse is by surveying audiences to analyze the pain points. In simple terms, it is a way to understand what are the issues that audiences deal with on other social media platforms. It also relates to competitor analysis, where you need to understand their features and issues that people face with them.
Knowing your customers will help you in gathering information regarding their age, income, and other demographics. These details are essential to understand what type of interactions they will have on your application, and following that, you can plan the features for your audio chat app. It is one of the most critical stages of app development, leading to the identification of features based on the customer’s pain points.
Audio Chatroom Features
Auto chat rooms are new to the application development scene. However, Clubhouse has paved the way for more such social media platforms to come. Here are some of the features that you can consider while developing an app like Clubhouse.
Clubhouse app allows you to host your audio chat rooms. So, if you are looking to replicate the same, you will need to create hosting features for your application. This feature will allow users to host their audio chat rooms. They should control the number of participants who can join the audio chat room and even those who can speak or listen to the conversations.
When it comes to the privacy of chat rooms, you need to integrate enhanced encryption systems within your application architecture. It allows your users to communicate without boring about their data securely.
For example, Whatsapp is known for end-to-end encryption that encrypts the entire conversation journey then just the endpoints. It means that you can’t access any conversation once they are over.
For audio chatrooms, it is essential to use encryption algorithms to create end-to-end encryptions for your audio chatrooms. Especially users should not be able to either record the conversations.
The audio-only feature relates to a function where a user can only access audio from a particular chat program and can’t speak without the host’s permission. Users should be able to access multiple rooms and, if the hosts permit, can listen to conversations. Clubhouse employs an invite-only membership which already makes the app exclusive, and audio-only adds a layer of privacy.
Live Audio Streaming
The feature will help different users to communicate with each other. Apart from the live streaming of audio chats, the feature will also allow users to have real-time crosstalk. However, you can add features like real-time chat to enhance the experience. In addition, instant messenger-type chat features already employed by Whatsapp can be integrated into your audio chatroom apps.
You can add features like subscriptions or access to specific audio rooms with paid memberships. Here, you can create a separate pool of chatrooms for premium members and ask users to pay for the membership. You can also add video monetization techniques for creating paid features. Another way to introduce paid features is by creating a platform for creators to have exclusive content for users in specific chatrooms which are chargeable for access.
Architecture & APIs
When it comes to the creation of applications like Clubhouse, you will need scalable app architecture. Microservices architecture is an excellent option for applications like Clubhouse. Unlike monolith architecture, where the entire suite of services is tightly coupled, a single failure can bring the whole application down.
Microservices architecture offers a decoupled suite of services that interact with each other independently. So, even if one service fails, it does not affect other services, and there are no disruptions.
Another essential factor that you need to consider while building an application like Clubhouse is API gateways. These services need a communications mechanism to interact with each other and an orchestration tool. An API gateway can help with features like reverse proxy, SSL termination, load balancing, caching, and request aggregation. APIs or Application Programming Interface is also essential for third-party integrations.
Integrations & Deployments
Third-party services are essential for different functions like multi-lingual support, payment gateways, real-time notifications, or even cloud-based service integrations. Apart from the integrations, you can leverage an agile methodology for incremental iterations. It will allow you to test, code, and deploy with every iteration.
The clubhouse is here to stay, and the growth of the application indicates that audio-based chatrooms will have more users. So, if you are thinking of replicating the same success for your business, you will need more than just good features.
A well-planned app architecture and development approach can help you deliver an excellent user experience which means more traffic. Higher the number of users, the more revenue you can generate from an app like Clubhouse. However, you will need a well-thought revenue model. So, why waste time when you can leverage an already successful phenomenon like the Clubhouse.