Clubhouse, the newly popular audio social network, has added an important new function to its app: an ability for its growing caste of influeners to earn money through tips.
The Payments feature represents the first avenue for Clubhouse creators—some of whom have amassed hundreds of thousands of followers—to get paid on the app and will be introduced to a small test group before being widely released.
Introducing a tipping tool is an important marker for Clubhouse. Social media networks are scrambling to add new ways for influencers on their platforms to earn money. And while year-old Clubhouse has sped off to a fast start, it too will need to show creators they can financially prosper on the app or risk losing them to more established sites, such as Instagram and TikTok, both of which already have similar features to Clubhouse’s Payments software.
Clubhouse must confront the issue of how to help influencers bring in dollars much earlier in its life than its older competitors. Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat all spent years being able to concentrate on acquiring users and establishing ad-driven revenue streams, factors Clubhouse will need to weigh alongside the demands of its influencer set.
Clubhouse is has been a sensation since it launched last March, racking up more than 12 million downloads despite remaining invite only and available solely on iPhones and several million daily users. But the audio-based network’s long-term potential remains unproven—particularly in a future when people can again interact in real life—and data from AppAnnie, which tracks downloads, shows its daily users have been nearly halved from their February highs.