Metaverse chat rooms on the social audio app Clubhouse have come and gone—there was a Virtual Worlds club which used to host regular rooms, but like many Clubhouse clubs, it kind of ran out of steam—but there’s a new club, called the MetaWhat? Show. (By the way, you no longer need to wait for an invitation to use Clubhouse; it’s now open to the general public, with both iOS and Android apps.)
Here’s the description of the MetaWhat? Show club on Clubhouse:
MetaWhat? The Metaverse Show: Everything you wanted to know about the metaverse, but you didn’t have the metadata to go on or felt uncool to ask! From the perspectives of the uninitiated to the movices and the pros, we’ll explore all things metaverse and more.
The chat show brings together a number of people, from various backgrounds and with varying levels of experience, to talk about anything and everything metaverse-related (including blockchain metaverses).
In an effort to combat my isolation and depression, which is being made worse by a third pandemic lockdown largely caused by my provincial government’s bumbling, bungling and inaction, I often turn to Clubhouse for company. I like to have it nearby, running on my cellphone, and I often listen to it throughout my workday.
I consider Clubhouse a much more accessible version of talk radio, one where I can easily join in, if I feel I have something to contribute to the conversation. Listening makes me less lonely, and less likely to ruminate about my situation. Since I started in mid-February, listening to Clubhouse has very quickly become a part of my daily routine.
But frankly, Clubhouse is not a very happy place lately. The stresses and strains of unprecedented growth have all too readily shown the weaknesses of the platform.
Today, the users are in a collective uproar, with room after room after room of complaints about recent updates to the platform, which (among other things) led to the loss of keyword searching in personal bios. People are upset because they have spent time and energy build profiles which are no longer searchable, and therefore, like-minded users can no longer find each other as easily.
More and more, it feels as if the Clubhouse community is getting smaller and more insular, despite the recent rollout to Android users (many of whom are also complaining, lacking features such as the ability to add Twitter and Instagram links to their bios). The overall mood among the remaining and (seemingly) dwindling number of Clubhouse users is angry, divisive, quarrelsome, and frankly somewhat off-putting to newcomers. And it’s unclear what is the best way to fix these problems.
Lightning may have struck once, with Clubhouse’s initial buzz and sizzle, but I think that it is unlikely to strike in the same place a second time. Clubhouse is now facing stiff, strong competition from platforms with much larger social graphs off of which they can leverage, such as Twitter, Facebook, and even Discord. Clubhouse is now far from the only game in town, and their front-runner advantage dwindles by the day.
And it’s not just single users that are giving up and leaving Clubhouse. Whole communities have moved away from Clubhouse, seeking greener pastures. For example, some Black users have left Clubhouse for the crowdfunded, Black-owned Fanbase, feeling more at home there. I expect this trend to continue as competitor social audio platforms proliferate, and create submarkets within the marketplace.
And there still seems to be a great deal of upset about the awarding of the sixty finalists in Clubhouse’s recent Creator First program. Worse, many content creators feel that their hard work is not being acknowledged or rewarded with larger numbers of followers due to recent changes to the discoverability algorithms, so why bother?
In short, Clubhouse, my bulwark against isolation and depression, is springing leaks, It will be interesting to see how Clubhouse rises to the new challenges it faces. Is this just a tempest in a teacup, or a sign of more serious problems that will spell the end of Clubhouse? Was it all just a passing fad, fed by the pandemic?
If you have been waiting for an invitation to join the hot new drop-in social audio app Clubhouse, here’s your opportunity to check it out for yourself! (Please accept my apologies for repeating this message, but I formed a new, third club with 100 invitations to add to the overall bounty of invitations, and I know a lot of people are eagerly awaiting an invite!)
Please remember that Clubhouse is NOW currently available for iOS and (as of this week) Android users. Android is rolling out to American users first, then to other English-speaking countries such as Canada, then worldwide, over the next 2-3 weeks. If you cannot join with your Android device, you can choose to be notified by Google Play when it becomes available in your country. Please be patient and keep trying!
I have 97 invitations to join Clubhouse and become a member of the Ask a Librarian club, just click the following link:
And, if you aren’t a librarian or a Winnipegger/Manitoban, you can just use the following link, with a third batch of one hundred invitations, which will allow you to join Clubhouse and my brand new Tell Me Your Best Joke club!
Today, we are thrilled to share that Clubhouse for Android will start rolling out in beta immediately. We will begin gradually, with the U.S. today, followed by other English-speaking countries and then the rest of the world. Our plan over the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly. If you are an Android user, you can download Clubhouse for Android and sign up now to be alerted once it’s available in your area, and read the FAQ here.