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Clubhouse gets thumbs-up on Android, but thumbs-down on social media [Analysis]

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, new social media platforms, such as Clubhouse, have been welcomed with open arms by online users, in a search for new and meaningful ways to connect differently to usual social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
The invitation-only app had previously been available via download on the Apple App Store, much to the dismay of many social media users. Now, after a year, one would think that Clubhouse would get the thumbs-up from Android users. Maybe not.

Meltwater, the global leaders in media monitoring and social analytics, tracked and analysed social media mentions surrounding Clubhouse now being available to Android users to find out how social media users reacted to the recent news.

Clubhouse in 2020

Clubhouse is a social networking platform that is based on voice and allows users from around the world to come together to talk, listen and learn from one another in real time.

Last year, mentions on “Clubhouse” garnered a consistent Social Reach of over 1 billion people worldwide since April 2020, with the highest global reach being just under 3 billion people in August 2020. During this time, the data recorded 165,000 social media mentions on “Clubhouse”, as the app began to gain popularity among high-profile individuals.

By December 2020, the data recorded the highest number of “Clubhouse” mentions - 221,000 - as most online users had become familiar with the app and were now taking a bigger interest in how the social networking platform worked.

Global Social Volume (blue) vs Social Reach (green) on ‘Clubhouse’ Social Media Mentions between 12 January 2020 and January 2021

The majority of “Clubhouse” social media mentions came from the USA (26.2%), followed by the United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Nigeria and India, making these the top 5 countries to be mentioning the app the most on social media in 2020.

Overall, mentions on “Clubhouse” from the USA were related to sharing which high profile celebrities or influencers were hosting discussions on various rooms, and social media was used to either advertise the room or encourage people to get invites to join discussions. The data also showed similar tweets from users in the UK doing the same.

In Canada, most users were still trying to understand how the app works and use social media to query this, while in Nigeria, online users shared how they liked the interactive discussions that took place on the platform. In India, online users showed interest in Clubhouse’s potential to replace other audio-based apps, and become a leading app in 2021.

Global Heat Map on ‘Clubhouse’ Social Media Mentions between 12 January 2020 and 12 January 2021

Taking a closer look at the high social volume of “Clubhouse” mentions during December 2020, some of the trending themes included:
  • “Clubhouse room” which refers to different rooms in the app that users can enter, by invitation only, to participate in discussions.
  • “Biggest social media tool” and “misinformation” which refers to this tweet by @DomoWarren regarding the app’s potential to be misleading.
  • “Invite” and “phone” which refers to the ways in which you can access the platform.
“Clubhouse” has had a high number of global social media mentions during 2020, as compared to the one-on-one, strangers only social network, Omegle. Despite some social media users not being too fond of the exclusivity that comes with Clubhouse - such as needing an invite to access discussions, that the app is a mobile only platform, and that it was only available for Apple’s iOS - the data indicated that in general, users favoured “Clubhouse” more than Omegle for the variety of discussions people could have on a number of topics, and to do so with high profile individuals. Meeting more people in “Clubhouse” rooms also emerged as a reason why the app had received a high number of mentions. And positive ones at that.

Global Media Exposure on ‘Omegle’ (blue) and ‘Clubhouse’ (green) Social Media Mentions between 12 January 2020 and 12 January 2021

While the majority of social media users remain undecided about their feelings towards “Clubhouse”, 18.5% of social media users expressed that they did like the app and enjoyed the discussions that they could participate in. 13.8% of social media users weren’t so fond of the app due to how one accessed the platform exclusively as one Twitter user mentioned. Social media users also weren’t fans of the platform because of the misinformation the app spread.

Global Sentiment Analysis on ‘Clubhouse’ Social Media Mentions between 12 January 2020 and 12 January 2021

Clubhouse in 2021

Now that Clubhouse has been made available to Android users, with the announcement made on Sunday, 9 May 2021, reactions to the news aren’t what we saw in 2020. The data recorded under 24,000 global social media mentions on “Clubhouse” during May 2021, which is an increase of over 300% as compared to last year,

On the day of the announcement from the Clubhouse Twitter account, the data recorded more than 5,000 mentions on the app, and garnered a social reach of 210 million. The following day, 10 May 2021, these numbers had increased to more than 6,000 social media mentions and a social reach of 279 million. However, there was a sharp decline in both mentions and reach. While the data cannot pinpoint the exact reason why this is, ‘Clubhouse’ mentions on 10 May 2021 include articles wondering if the Android release was a little too late for the app to compensate for the decline in downloads it was experiencing, as mentioned in Social Media Today.

The decline in mentions could also be attributed to Facebook’s announcement, made the day after Clubhouse’s Android announcement, in testing a close version of the audio-only app in Taiwan, as reported in Business Day.

Global Social Volume (blue) vs Social Reach (green) on ‘Clubhouse’ and ‘Android’ Social Media Mentions between 1 May and 12 May 2021

While there has been some buzz around Clubhouse finally being available on Android devices, many social media users have mixed feelings about this. 91% of all mentions recorded by the data on “Clubhouse” and “Android” were neutral in sentiment. This could be due to Android users still warming up to the idea of finally joining Clubhouse, and that the Android beta version is available in the United States of America and will roll out to other countries in due time. However, from what the data could provide a sentiment analysis on, 5% of online users feel positive about Clubhouse being available on Android while 4% of online users feel negative about it and generally consider it too late to start using the app.

Global Sentiment Analysis on ‘Clubhouse’ and ‘Android’ Social Media Mentions between 1 May and 12 May 2021

Naturally, most of the global mentions on Clubhouse’s availability on Android came from the USA, as the app is currently only available in this country. However, there have been other countries that have engaged in online conversations on ‘Clubhouse’ and ‘Android’.

In Africa specifically, Nigeria was the top country to engage with online conversations on ‘Clubhouse’ and ‘Android’ (49%). Most mentions from Nigeria welcome the Android version of Clubhouse, with some users beginning to share their invites alongside upcoming events, and tech websites, like Techpadi, sharing their thoughts in articles.

Local South African publications like StartUp Mag and Eminetra have also started sharing the news in their respective articles. South African social media users who have Android devices, are excited to finally join Clubhouse and are interested to see more responses once Clubhouse fully launches.

African Heat Map of ‘Clubhouse’ and ‘Android’ Social Media Mentions between 1 May and 12 May 2021

‘Clubhouse beta’ was a trending theme that emerged from the data analysis, indicating that many social media users are aware that the Android version of Clubhouse will be limited and still requires a few more features. Even though there is global buzz with the release, there is acknowledgement that ‘Clubhouse’ still has some growing to do and also wants to manage the platform’s expansion, as the word ‘growth’ emerged as another trending theme.

While Clubhouse finally got the thumbs-up on Android devices, it didn’t quite manage to get the same from social media users. Time will tell if such feelings will change but for now, the audio and invite only app looks like it is here to stay as a social networking platform that all users can finally use.

If you want to get insights like these to monitor trending topics in news and social media about your brand, business, industry or competitors, you can contact the Meltwater Team here.

Source: Data gathered by Meltwater from 1 May to 12 May 2021.

Meltwater
Stay on top of billions of online conversations, extract relevant insights, and use them to strategically drive brand perception.
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