The fall and rise of two social media platforms


In an ever-changing post-covid world, social media platforms are having to work their socks off to remain relevant, follow the latest trends and keep their security features in check, if they are going to continue to appeal to the vast majority of users. Below, we take a look at the latest developments to social media apps, Clubhouse and Bluesky.

Clubhouse announces layoffs

Last week, it became evident that Clubhouse, once hailed as “the next best thing”, was struggling to stay afloat. The social audio app, backed with more than $100 million in venture capital and once valued at $4 billion by investors, has cut more than half of its staff in a bid to fix the struggles it is experiencing.

We are not aware of the exact number of people this will affect, but in October 2022, Davison told TechCrunch that Clubhouse had close to one hundred employees. The layoffs come less than a year since the company last made redundancies.

The social app’s co-founders, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, commented on the layoffs in a blog post: “As the world has opened up post-Covid, it’s become harder for many people to find their friends on Clubhouse and to fit long conversations into their daily lives. To find its role in the world, the product needs to evolve,”

The founders cited the complexities that arise from over hiring and a remote work environment as some of the reasons for the latest restructuring and said that moving forward the team would be focussed on building ‘Clubhouse 2.0’.

“We have a clear vision for what Clubhouse 2.0 looks like and we believe that with a smaller, leaner team we will be able to iterate faster on the details, build the right product and honor our teammates who helped us get here, they added.”

Bluesky reports its biggest single day jump in users

In the meantime, Ex CEO and founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, is celebrating the recent success of his new Bluesky app which is proving to be increasingly popular, even in its beta test mode and with only around 12 employees.

On Thursday evening, the company marked the “biggest single day jump” in new users so far resulting in an upgrade of its database at 5.30PM ET. The invite-only Twitter alternative has been gaining momentum with key influencers starting to follow the bird-themed social network including Dril (the Twitter legend who recently gave an interview as his real-life human self) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

There are rumours that Dril could move full time to Bluesky in the future once the platform is publicly available, with avid users keeping a close eye on his current movements and posts.

Why does this matter?

In the past week, we have seen major changes to two of the most talked about social media platforms – Clubhouse and Bluesky – and we wonder what this could mean for the future of social media and where it might be leading?

Only time will tell what lies in the future for Clubhouse, but the founders remain convinced that the world still needs what Clubhouse is proposing to build – a better way for people to hear friends’ voices and have more in depth, meaningful conversations and feel connected.

With the steady rise in Bluesky’s popularity, there are bets on how long it might be until we can’t talk about the app on Twitter. Given Elon Musk’s constant changes to the platform, such as charging $8 for blue ticks and his relaxation of moderation rules, users are becoming disenchanted with the app, and are looking to Bluesky as a “fresh alternative”.