Audio-chat platform, Clubhouse has announced the introduction of a payment feature that will allow users to tip their favorite speakers or creators on the platform. In what the company described as the “first of many features”, this new feature will allow creators to receive payment directly on the Clubhouse app.
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According to the blog post announcing the new feature, a user can send payment by going to the profile of the creator to whom they want to give money and tap “send money”. If the feature is enabled on the creator’s profile, the user will be able to enter an amount and register their credit card details to process the transaction. They will be charged a certain amount as a processing fee (which goes to the payment partner Stripe) and the creator will also be charged a small amount when they want to withdraw the money. For now, the feature does not allow the user to send a personalized message along with the payment.
This is the first time the company will be introducing a monetization feature on the platform but in this case, it will not be getting any cuts out of the money creators make. Unlike other platforms like YouTube, Tik Tok, and OnlyFans who all receive a percentage of a creator’s earning on their platforms.
It remains to be seen how Clubhouse intends to make money as it shows the company is not keen on introducing ads on its platform which accounts for a huge chunk of the revenue other social networks make.
Early this year, the startup raised $100million in its Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz which the company says will go to a creator grant program. By cultivating and rewarding influencers, the startup hopes to promote high-quality content on its platform and drive significant traction into the app.
This portrays the company as willing to play the long game, despite growing competition from other established social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook who are all developing clones of the Clubhouse app.
It is expected that with time, the company will start taking a percentage of the money creators make in the platform, but it doesn’t seem like that will be happening soon.
Clubhouse for Android
In related news, Clubhouse has hired U.S based Nigerian Software Engineer, Mopewa Ogundipe to head its Android app development. Mayowa was formerly a senior software engineer at Medium, where she spent over three years working on Medium’s android app and backend to support it.
By creating an android version of the app, it shows the startup is set to penetrate emerging markets and expand its user base while onboarding new creators across different niches.
In the African continent, the Android operating system currently dominates with 83% market share and the development of an Android app is likely to make the startup see widespread adoption across the board.
This is a plus for African creators as it will see them acquire a larger following on the platform and leverage the payment feature to make money.
Overall, this is a welcome development for Africa’s burgeoning creative sector and will see the rise of Clubhouse celebrities in the continent.