Remember Clubhouse, the social audio app everybody jumped on during the height of the pandemic? It appears the app is now struggling as it is laying off some of its employees.
According to people with inside information, Clubhouse is shedding part of its workforce as it rethinks its business strategy.
Reportedly, some staff members chose to resign as Clubhouse prunes its staff in some areas, including coding for sports, news, etc.
A spokesperson for Clubhouse said, “A handful of roles were eliminated as part of streamlining our team, and a few individuals decided to pursue new opportunities. We are continuing to recruit for many roles across engineering, product, and design.”
Some of the staff that left announced it on Twitter, including Nina Gregory, who was in charge of news partnerships, Anu Atluru, who was the head of community, and Aarthi Ramamurthy, the head of Clubhouse’s international operations.
Before the trio above, the head of sports, Sean Brown, left his position in May, while Stephanie Simon, the honcho of brand evangelism and development, left a month earlier.
Thanking the departing employees for their services, the spokesperson added, “Clubhouse wouldn’t be where it is today without these talented people. We’re immensely grateful for everything they’ve done and know they’ll do great things in the future.”
Clubhouse’s valuation shot to $4 billion after launching in 2020. It couldn’t have asked for better timing, as many people were at home due to the lockdowns and had time to listen and chat with other users globally.
The app maintained an invite-only membership, and it soon became a sort of social capital to be able to invite others. Clubhouse also remained iOS-only for a long time before expanding to Android.
However, other companies earnestly began to replicate Clubhouse, and its relevance began o drop. For example, Twitter rushed out its own response, known as Spaces. Other platforms that created their own audio platform include Meta and Spotify. Clubhouse last shared user stats in November 2021, when it reported that users were creating 700,000 rooms per day.
Also, the gradual return to normalcy meant people did not have much time to join audio conversations. Prominent content creators have abandoned the platform for where they will get an audience. This includes The Lullaby Club, one of the earliest Clubhouse success stories, which now operates on Amazon’s live audio app Amp.
However, Clubhouse tried to stay relevant by adding new features, including a dark mode to make the app easier to use, real-time captioning, and high-quality audio streaming. It also tried in-app games.