Clubhouse, the social audio app that saw a rather meteroic rise during the pandemic but has waned down since, is looking to regain some of the lost ground with a new ‘Houses” feature, which will let users and groups run their own private communities. More specifically, anyone on Clubhouse can create their own “House” within Clubhouse and invite other users to be a part of it.

The company describes its new offering as “private hallways just for your favourite people,” where users can seamlessly “drop in anytime, hop from room to room, catch up with friends, and meet their friends.”

This feature has been in the works for quite some time, and the company has expanded the beta testing of the feature in recent weeks. There are subtle differences between Houses and Clubs – the latter is more public, while Clubhouse sees Houses as more intimate in nature.

Social audio app Clubhouse was a major hit in the early days of the pandemic, as people were confined to their homes and had to go online for entertainment. It was Clubhouse that was one of the earliest big players of the live audio market, and it soon breached the million mark when it came to downloads.

However, its meteoric rise seems to have come too soon, as established social media platforms such as Facebook caught on and threw their hats in the ring with Live Audio Rooms, its Clubhouse-like offering. The same led to the creation of Twitter’s Spaces and Spotify’s Greenroom, which was later rebranded as Spotify Live.

This intensified competition meant that Clubhouse’s popularity started to decline gradually. This, after reaching a peak of nearly 10 million monthly downloads in February 2021, the popularity of two-year-old Clubhouse started to wane as the number of downloads started to fall.

Those interested in the new ‘Houses’ feature can sign up to create new Houses, though it will take some time for your House to be “built”. The company informed that it will approve the creation of new Houses slowly to receive proper feedback and make the required changes.

You can sign up via the Google form that is available in a series of tweets by Clubhouse CEO Paul Davison.

In the form, you need to enter your name and Clubhouse username, as well as what you intend to call your new House and how you will be describing it to others. Clubhouse will also let you invite your friends to be the “Founding Members” of your House.

Delving deeper into the concept of Houses, we find that your House will come with your own rules. This means that no two Houses will share the same content moderation rules, culture, or personality.

They will be the very own niche of users and their close ones, many clubhouses under one Clubhouse, which will ensure that people can engage with like-minded people and with their close ones out of the public eye. In Houses, users do not need the permission of the moderator to talk and engage, they can simply go ahead and unmute themselves.

It should be noted that anyone will be able to see the members of a House, since the member lists are made public.

The House rooms themselves will remain private, since it is the “best social experiences” that creates ‘intimacy, trust and friendship.” However, users will continue to be able to explore Clubhouse’s main and public hallways of rooms in order to discover new people and cultures.

“Communities need to be able to undergo mitosis as they grow — so they can split into new ones and the intimacy can scale,” read a tweet by the Clubhouse CEO.

“That’s how /r/music spawns /r/hiphopheads. It’s why classrooms max out at a certain size, and why people form smaller circles when a house party grows. The world is going increasingly remote, and getting together with people you like needs to be easier,” it read.