updated 7 October 2023
The new evolution of Clubhouse is designed to make it easier for you to talk more often with your favorite people.
** We’d love to hear your feedback about how we can create a better experience **
Some context on the changes we’ve made and why:
We believe the best part of Clubhouse is being with friends and making new ones. This is an important and fundamental belief we have that guides a lot of our strategic decisions. It’s not about passively listening to people speaking. You can listen to great conversations on podcasts, YouTube, TikTok, and a lot of other platforms. It’s about talking with people – sharing ideas, pushing back, cracking up over inside jokes, going late into the night, getting to know each other’s quirks, and becoming real-life friends with your friends’ friends, and people you never would have met otherwise. When you ask people who love Clubhouse why they love it, it’s this. It’s about being with people you like.
Every time you open the app, you should be able to talk with your favorite people.
During Covid, when Clubhouse was small and the world was on lockdown, people consistently had this experience. When you opened the app at a random time, most of your friends were there, free to talk for hours, because most people were friends-of-friends, and we were all stuck in our living rooms.
But in a post-Covid world, it’s harder to find your friends on Clubhouse. With work and school and life, finding an hour is hard, and you never know when your friends will be online. So you end up checking the app at different times, missing each other, and seeing rooms that aren’t relevant to you.
The new update is a big evolution of Clubhouse, designed to let you talk with your favorite people more easily, every time you open the app. We realize you may have many questions, so below you’ll find some more detailed information.
So, What’s Changed?
Our recent blog post contains a high-level overview of the changes. Most notably:
- We’ve introduced “Chats” — to new way to talk in-between your live rooms. Think of them like the group chats you have in your messaging apps, but voice-only, and designed with discovery in mind.
- We’ve moved to a (two-way) Friend model, to emphasize what has always made Clubhouse special: Talking in rooms with people you like — and getting to know new people
- Houses still exist and thrive as a place for communities to gather. If you want to continue to reach the people who followed you in the past, we’ll work with you to create a House for them, to ensure you can do that. You can find more details on that here.
- Our feed algorithms are continually evolving to better emphasize your friends and your Houses. Chats make starting a conversation much easier, so we expect to have a lot more potential conversations we could show you. We rank conversations from your friends and Houses first, and show you other rooms and chats in the Explore tab. We are working to evolve these algorithms based on what we learn, so please give us your feedback if you’re not seeing what you like!
In addition to the changes above, there are a lot of smaller ones that you might notice. Here’s the current list of changes:
- Now that we have a way to talk asynchronously - meaning, not at the same time - we’re going voice-first in more places:
- Text posts in Houses have been replaced by voice Chats in Houses. Instead of using text to share things with your community, you can now use your voice. Chats already support link sharing, and we’re planning to add support for photos soon.
- Our hope is that this makes it dramatically easier to get a House going. Instead of organizing events, promoting them, and trying to get everyone to join at the same time, it’s as easy to start as a group chat. You just create the house, start a few chats, and invite people. Whenever they join, they can add to the conversation and get to know other members.
- Text DMs (“Backchannel”) have been replaced by voice messaging (“VMs”). VMs are audio-only, and they’re more social than text DMs because your friends can see who you’ve been chatting with on your profile. The idea is to recreate the feeling of bumping into friends, meeting their friends, and starting a conversation with them.
- You can access your archive of text DMs by tapping the “...” at the top right of any conversation, but you can’t create text DMs anymore.
- We’ve simplified the privacy model for Houses.
- Open Houses: If you’re fine with anyone joining your conversations, this is for you. Anyone can join your rooms without permission, but they need to raise their hand in order to talk.
- Closed Houses: If you want to build a curated community, this is for you. Members must be invited or approved before they can join. House founders can customize their house settings regarding who can speak, and we’re making two changes as part of this:
- With Chats, we have a lot more conversations to show people, so we are be prioritizing the ones from their existing friends and Houses, rather than Houses they haven’t yet joined. This means if you took a Closed House room public, most people wouldn’t see it anyway.
- Chats give House founders other ways to share their community’s content and recruit new members, so we think on the whole it will be much easier to grow them.
First: You can no longer take individual rooms public in a Closed house. We’re making this change for a few reasons:
Second, we have eliminated the ability to toggle the hand raise queue on/off on a per room basis in Closed House rooms. Instead, you can specify at the House level that anyone can speak in your chats/rooms, or only people invited by the speakers can speak. If this causes problems, please let us know.
- Your Houses now live on your profile rather than in a dedicated tab. Our thinking here is that you used to have to visit all of your Houses in order to check for new posts, so having a fast way to navigate to them was important. Now that your Posts are Chats, they’ll appear in the Hallway, so we cleaned things up by removing the Houses tab.
- Your events now live in your activity feed. (That little bell on the upper right corner of your screen.) Events you have RSVP’d to will show up first, and then you’ll see events in your Houses. You can see events your friends are going to in the Explore tab.
- House replays are now on the house page, under “listen to replays.”
- “Wave” is now called “talk live.” When you tap “talk live” on someone’s profile, it will invite them to chat live with you in a private room, just like waving did before.
We are no longer supporting a number of other features, including…
- Legacy features in Houses. Previously, starting a House was hard, because you’d have to organize events, get everyone to attend them, open rooms up to the public, turn on the hand-raise queue, and do all sorts of shenanigans to attract new members.
- Automated system messages in Houses (e.g., the ones saying someone joined your House)
- Pinned Messages in Houses. (We’ll likely bring this back in a future release, by allowing you to pin a Chat to the top)
- New Member Questions in Houses
- Room-level hand-raise queues (per the earlier section on House privacy model changes)
- Taking Closed house rooms public (again, per the earlier section)
With Chats, starting a successful community is as easy as starting a group text. You just invite people and they chat. So we’re removing some of the old “power” features for Houses. This includes:
- The Insights tab
- On-platform reshares
- House locations
- Legacy house suggestions in the Explore tab
Most of these features were rarely used, so we removed them to clean things up and simplify the app. If, after some time, you really miss any of these features, please let us know (see below)
We Want To Hear From You.
You have built this community and we want to make sure we hear all of your ideas and thoughts, as well as any concerns you have. You can send us any feedback you have using this link, and we will read all of it in detail.