In the Clubhouse app, people can join voice chat groups and discuss various topics such as education, trends, and business. The social network offers chats varying according to interests of users. Clubhouse is currently available for downloading only in the Apple App Store. You can only get access to invites. Despite this, the app has already become the leader in downloads in Germany, Italy, Japan and Turkey. The app has been installed by 5.3 million people worldwide. The creators of the social network announced that two million users talk daily in voice chats. The growing popularity of the social network is attributed to the fact that celebrities came to the platform. Celebrities such as Elon Musk, Ashton Kutcher, Paris Hilton, Jared Leto, Drake and others have been spotted at the Clubhouse.
Why is Clubhouse popular in Russia?
Clubhouse now is atop the rating of free apps in the App Store due to a number of downloads. As of February 8, 2021, the social network was on the 12th place in terms of downloads in the “Social Networks” category. Analysts` estimation of the Russian audience fluctuates between 15, 000 and 50, 000 users. This multitude is expected to loom large reaching a million (first million) by the end of the first week of March and then double (2 million users in summer).
Clubhouse: fraud risks and security concerns
In Russia, hoaxers have already started taking advantages from low awareness of users.
- They are trying to sell invitations to Clubhouse on Avito and Yula for 200 – 10,000 rubles. Yule confirms the rapid growth of search queries related to Clubhouse, but no fraud claims have been registered yet. Avito is putting the plug on the paid invitations to Clubhouse in order to protect users.
- In the Android store, fault applications have been recently spotted. These fake programs are a source of malicious software and harvest information from the user’s device.
- So, in the longer term, the new social network might contribute to the growth of fraud with the audio and video synthesis technology for speech forgery.
The Public Chamber has already asked Roskomnadzor and law enforcement agencies to start monitoring the Clubhouse, since the new social network must comply with Russian laws along with other sites. Clubhouse has also been accused of insufficient protection of user data. The Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) report says that the server infrastructure for the application is provided by the Chinese company Agora. SIO also found out that unique ID numbers in Clubhouse (not usernames) and chat room IDs are transmitted in clear text. This potentially allows Agora to access the audio in the app. This way, any authority that tracks Internet traffic can match IDs in shared chats to see who is talking to each other.
Who will compete with Clubhouse?
Facebook is going to create a voice chat, similar to the social network Club house. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has already tried out the app himself to talk about virtual reality. As we know, Facebook is monitoring the development of new promising social networks. The company previously acquired Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus when they were all startups. Facebook also copied some new implements of other social networks: for example, in 2016, in Instagram appeared the same features as in Snapchat, in 2020, in the wake of the popularity of Zoom in Facebook Rooms appeared.