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FOMO is Real

The other night I was talking to a friend from Germany and he mentioned a new app that started in Germany and has grown to worldwide adoption. I wasn’t interested at first, when someone mentions a new app it usually involves me downloading, trying it twice and then finding out that the free trial has ended months ago and I have been billed for an app I don’t use. So in a world with a million apps what makes this one different or hot? One word FOMO (fear of missing out). So how does someone create FOMO for a community? Well the secret is by only allowing the cool kids in, and make the rest feel like they are missing out. I am not sure you could do this with market research online communities but it’s definitely an interesting concept.

Clubhouse Members Only

The app is called Clubhouse, and it’s an audio app. Clubhouse describes it on their website as “a new type of social product based on voice.” I went to the app store and saw that it was free, so I downloaded it. You are asked to verify your phone number and then input your first and last name, and create a handle. Once that is done, you are told you are on a waiting list. If you have a friend who is on the app then you can ask them to invite you. What comes next is genius marketing.

So now that I have invested my time in filling it out, and am told I can’t come in until someone invites me, I then go on Facebook and some other apps asking my friends if anyone has access to Clubhouse? Some friends see the post and ask me what Clubhouse is, I explain and after the second time of explaining I just start copying and pasting the answer to everyone who asks. Now it peaks their interest because they want to join, and the fact that they can’t, makes them want to join even more. Then as the day goes on my friends who I explained to start messaging seeing if I got an invite yet.

What does the app look like once you are admitted?

The first thing I did was start exploring the different rooms. The homepage is rather plain and has a list of all of the discussions that are happening live, and also a list of upcoming chats. There are chat rooms that have talks on tech, movies, culture, beauty and the list goes on. Celebrities were hosting some of the talks and suddenly you can join one of their talks and have access to ask them questions, and hear their voice live.

The company posted on their website that they will soon be available to everyone but right now they are in “private beta testing.” The concept raises some interesting ideas for companies seeking to create communities and research communities in particular. How can companies create the sense of exclusivity around your brand and or experience management community. Perhaps the concept of having levels within the community with various rewards for moving up the community ladder to greater levels of influence.


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