Social networking unicorn Clubhouse launches ‘Payments’ to help creators earn money; here’s how

California-based social networking unicorn Clubhouse is an invite-only audio-based social app that allows users to join group chats. The company describes itself as a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations – with friends and other interesting people around the world that allows users to go online anytime to chat with the people they follow.

Clubhouse launches Payments

In a recent development, the company announced in a blog post that it is ready to roll out Payments – a monetisation feature for creators on Clubhouse. The new monetisation feature, Clubhouse Payments, will be the first of many features that allow creators to get paid directly on the app.

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The feature currently will be tested by a “small test group” today and will allow users to send and receive payments in waves. “Our hope is to collect feedback, fine-tune the feature, and roll it out to everyone soon,” the company mentions in a blog post.

Here’s how it works

To send a payment in Clubhouse, users can simply tap on the profile of a creator (who has the feature enabled) and tap “Send Money”.

Enter the amount you would like to send them. The first time you do this, you’ll be asked to register a credit or debit card.

Image credit: Clubhouse

According to the company, the creator will receive 100 per cent of the payment, and Clubhouse will take nothing. The person sending the money will also be charged a small card processing fee, which will go directly to Clubhouse’s payment processing partner, Stripe.

Stripe CEO Patrick Collison tweets, “It’s cool to see a new social platform focus first on participant income rather than internalised monetisation / advertising. Excited for the burgeoning creator economy and next era of internet business models.”

Paul Davison, the co-founder of Clubhouse, mentioned in the company’s latest town hall that the startup is focusing on direct monetisation on creators instead of advertisements. He had also noted that the company is working on expanding to a wider audience.

About Clubhouse

Launched in March 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, Clubhouse advertises itself as a “space for authentic conversation and expression”. Its app provides invitation-only audio chat rooms on a variety of topics, such as tech, books, and business. 

Users can set up virtual rooms on a topic of their choice, which anyone with an account can then join. As for listeners, they can virtually raise their hands if they wish to add to the conversation; however, the host or hosts decide who is allowed to speak.

Earlier this year, in January, the company raised $100M in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and was reportedly valued at $1B.
In March, the social networking unicorn was in the news for drawing attention from the European data regulators over concerns that the app may be breaking privacy rules. Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (CNIL) mentioned that it received a petition with more than 10,000 signatures to alert the agency against any possible breaches of privacy by the Clubhouse app.

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