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How to Build an App like Clubhouse: Cost, Features & Tech Stack to Use

10 December 2021 • 22 min read
How to Build an App like Clubhouse: Cost, Features & Tech Stack to Use
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In this article you will learn how to develop a Сlubhouse-like app, the tech stack and team composition behind successful development, the cost and challenges arising when creating such a solution, cost and time of development.

According to SensorTower, Clubhouse hit its highest user point in February 2021 with 9.6 million downloads worldwide. One year after it was first available to iOS users, Clubhouse has got out of beta, opening their app to Android users and placing it in Google Play. It resulted in another increase in the number of downloads in June 2021, reaching an impressive 7.7 million downloads on both iOS and Android, proving that the app is far from being consigned to oblivion.

Read on to know everything about the development of an app like Clubhouse!

Read also: Music Streaming App Development Guide

Reasons You Should Be Developing An App Like Clubhouse

Clubhouse can be rightfully called the main app of 2020 due to its popularity and rapid growth of users. Its founders have carved a new niche showing the world that the era of social media didn't end with Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, and there's plenty of space for everyone.

So, if you have an idea to create an app similar to Clubhouse, it's high time to start the development as the benefits are obvious. Here are several of them:

Exclusivity

Before coming out of beta, Clubhouse used the invite-only approach when every new member had to provide a code to register. Even though it was heavily criticized, we cannot fail to note the fact that this was one of the reasons for its popularity at the initial stage. New users felt like members of an exclusive club.

Functionality

The main idea behind Clubhouse is to provide users with the ability to have audio-based unscripted and unrecorded conversations. Basically, anyone can join the room, and the owner can either grant the visitor permission to participate in the conversation on one level with the host or just listen and ask questions during the broadcast. This factor creates a feeling of intimacy with no-video and live-only conversations, providing a completely hands-free experience, allowing users to use the app while doing other tasks. And the user-friendly interface allows users to seamlessly jump from one room to the other and join any conversation without a fuss.

User engagement

Though many claim that society is fed up with social media, people still strive for new experiences. Unexplored territories lure new users. Clubhouse has proved that with the right format, good design, and seamless development, it is possible to quickly grow your audience, creating more opportunities for your business and attracting new business leads.

Valuable insights

As we know, Clubhouse is fully customizable, meaning that every user creates their own feed based on the tastes and choices of the topics. This feature offers a wealth of information about demographics, interests, and aspirations.

As a result, businesses may use such apps to gather valuable, actionable user input for customer service, reading analytics, boosting marketing, product or service innovation, and other important areas.

Scalability

Developing a social app from scratch means a wider field for growth, thus creating new niches for existing customers. Since new social platforms are shown to have a quickly growing user base, businesses can benefit from a more comprehensive market scope and a larger potential buyer pool.

Clubhouse-like apps often bring together like-minded and connected buyers of choice who serve the company as loyal customers.

Must-Have Clubhouse App Features

Clubhouse is constantly growing by adding new features, making the app multilingual, and becoming inclusive with live captions. However, there are some must-have features to consider if you plan to develop an app like Clubhouse.

Customizable Notifications

Customizable notifications in Clubhouse

Notifications can increase engagement and encourage the continued use of an application. However, users need to change the preferences for their alerts.

Users dislike getting notifications for messages and activities that they're not interested in. They must be able to choose to either mute all or specific types of notifications. They should also only be notified if their username or a specific phrase is mentioned.

Social Media Integration

Social media integration in clubhouse

By allowing users to link their social media accounts to an application, it encourages them to connect with your brand through their choice of channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

File Sharing

File sharing in clubhouse

Users need to exchange files with one another, such as images and documents. To determine reasonable size limits for sharing, you should research your target audience. It will allow you to understand what kind of files that are commonly exchanged between users.

User Profiles

User profile in Clubhouse

Profiles should consist of a user's personal information, such as a photo, name, and short description. It can also include the option to follow or friend the user so online connections can be made.

Search Function

Search function in Clubhouse

Users should be able to search for their interests and profiles. If you choose to add the option for users to communicate over text, it is also vital to implement a search function so users can review old messages.

Servers and Channels

Servers and channels in Clubhouse

Users should have the ability to either have one-on-one discussions or WebRTC group voice chats. It's important for users who create clubs around similar interests or for businesses to have team discussions.

Sync Across Devices

Sync across devices

If your app is accessible over multiple platforms, users should be able to sync their accounts from one device to another. Especially if your app is targeted towards businesses, users need to jump back and forth without any delays.

End-to-End Encryption

End-to-end encryption

Privacy is becoming increasingly important and popular among users. Whatsapp has faced criticism for multiple years due to its security and privacy breaches. Therefore, it's important to gain the trust of the user base to have a long-term following.

Spatial audio

Spatial audio in Clubhouse

One of the new features that has been recently added to Clubhouse is spatial audio effects. It's intended to give the users a richer sense of hanging out live among a group of other people.

The spatial audio has to make the sound effects less flat, giving the listeners the feeling of being in a physical space and hearing audio from all around the room, from the left and right of a stage to the various locations in the audience.

Private rooms

Private rooms in Clubhouse

Clubhouse has launched another new feature called Wave. It will replace the previous one of starting private rooms with friends and aims to make it easier. The user can wave at multiple followers at once, and anyone who accepts the invitation will join the private room as a speaker provided they are online.

The feature has already been available both on iOS and Android, but users need to have the latest version of Clubhouse downloaded to gain access.

Clips

Clips in Clubhouse

Clips feature allows live listeners to snip the recent 30 seconds of audio and share it anywhere with a link to join the room. Hosts can turn off the possibility to make clips for other users. Universal Search aims to improve discoverability on Clubhouse – when users type a keyword or name into the search bar, they can find relevant rooms (both live and scheduled), people, clubs, and bios.

Replay

Replay feature in Clubhouse

The last new feature among the new ones – Replay – may be the game-changer for the app, making Clubhouse more of an audio social media. It allows creators to record a room, save it to their profile and club, or download the audio to share it externally, like a podcast. Hosts and moderators can choose whether or not they want the room to be recorded.

Read also how to develop a video conferencing app and build a HIPAA compliant telehealth app.

How to design a Clubhouse-like app

The design might be one of the most important stages in app development. The whole idea behind the app is to make the user experience as easy and seamless as possible because the modern speed of life leaves no room for error. Thus you must prioritize the user interface and intuitiveness of your voice social media app.

It might be challenging to find a balance between a good look and functionality. Here's when the experienced design team should step in. Design development is usually made in the following steps:

  1. Navigation concept / Low-fidelity prototype
  2. Medium-fidelity prototype
  3. High-fidelity prototype

Low-fidelity prototypes can be hand-drawn on paper or a planning board, though digital sketches are more often. The idea behind a low-fidelity prototype is to establish the basis for user experience design — the relations between screens, buttons, and functions.

Medium-fidelity prototypes provide a basic user interface but are usually black-and-white. They aim to prove that the development team and client have the same vision of the app.

High-fidelity prototypes offer a final version of the design. They are usually represented in the mock-up form of an app or bots. With the option to click/tap through screens, these prototypes can be used to test a smaller sample of potential users or a client's appraisal.

Clubhouse App Tech Stack

Looking at Clubhouse's tech stack, you can quickly notice that a voice chat application must have high-quality audio to be successful. Therefore, you must use WebRTC. This open-source project has the proper APIs that will make seamless communications possible.

For the server-side, you will need to have powerful back-end support. It ensures that there is smooth and uninterrupted communication between users. If you target a worldwide audience, it is recommended that your Clubhouse app developer uses Elixir, .NET, Ruby, and C++. However, if your user base is smaller and more local, your back-end specialists can work with Node.js, which is cheaper and simpler.

You will first need to determine what platforms your target audience will be using for the client's side. If you are developing an app for Android, use Kotlin or Java. If the app will be for iOS, use Swift or Objective C.

Finally, it is important to address the issue of data protection and encryption from the very start. Personal information and sensitive data can be easily leaked. So, to avoid angry users, you should use end-to-end encryption with TLS for text-based conversations. For voice chats over an internet browser, use DTLS, and for voice chats over a desktop app, use XSalsa20.

How to Develop a Clubhouse-Like App for Android or iOS in 4 Steps

1. Research The Market And Your Target Audience

Before you begin your clubhouse-like app development, you should first determine if your idea is viable or not. If there is no market, it's unwise to continue. In addition, you need to identify your target audience, understand demographics, and learn behavioral trends.

For example, what is their average age? What kind of devices do they use? What are their expectations on security? What increases or decreases their desire to use an application? Will a WebRTC voice chat on Android be successful?

It is highly suggested that you create a detailed user persona while researching how to sell your application idea.

2. Create User-Friendly UI

With your user persona, you should understand the types of people using the Clubhouse app and what is popular among these users. Allowing users to personalize their experience is increasingly popular, and that should be kept in mind. It would also be helpful to dive deeper into the clubhouse UI design research.

Find a balance between a functioning interface and one that caters to user needs and desires.

3. Choose an App Development Team

A development team can either make or break your idea. Thus, you must conduct in-depth research for each company and determine whether they can meet your requirements or not.

Once you have chosen a team, you will need to create a workflow that the team can follow. However, before you begin the voice chat app development process, select the features you'll want and design the concept. It would be best if you also had a business analysis and project milestones ready.

4. Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

After you've developed your app, you should run a test launch – an MVP. By limiting the users to a select few, you can gain feedback on your app and test its technical performance. You should release your app with the essential features to be as close as possible to the final product.

Evaluate your feedback and improve your app before you launch the final release.

HOW TO INTEGRATE AUDIO CHATTING FEATURES INTO YOUR EXISTING SOCIAL MEDIA APP

Luckily, building a WebRTC voice chat application into your social media application is simpler than you think.

You can use audio API and SDK and integrate cloud-based SIP & VoIP calling. You will be able to allow your users to engage in high-quality voice interactions and make calls through their browsers, mobile apps, and web apps.

Read also how to build an app like TikTok.

How Much It Costs to Develop an App Like Clubhouse

Costs can depend on many variations: product complexity, features, size, design, and time frame. The number of members in a development team can also increase or decrease the price. You will typically need the following employees in a team:

  • 1 Project Manager
  • 1~2 UI/UX Designer(s)
  • 1~2 Android/iOS Developer(s)
  • 1 Frontend Developer
  • 1 Back-end Developer
  • 1 Analyst

Assuming that your app is not overly complex and overflowing with features, it is expected that it will cost from $40,000 to $85,000.

What about the details of the complete application development? You can find information about the time and price for each stage of app development below. And you can understand the required budget and timing of your project.

1. Estimation, Research & UI/UX design

Time: 280 hours

Cost: $8 400

The development process always starts with the discovery phase. That is when a general overview of the product, its steps, and features will be discussed. We study your requirements, needs, and wishes for your project. Then our company creates a list of items for analysis.

We collect all the necessary data and process it to find patterns that are relevant to your expectations. And our company approves with you all details of your future voice chat app.

After business analysis, there will be wireframing and prototyping. This stage is devoted to UX design, understanding the target audience, and creating user journeys and flows. The UX deliverables will be hi-fi wireframes and low-fi prototypes. Once the client has agreed to the prototype, that's when UI design starts.

2. Development

Time: 640 hours

Cost: $25 600

Depending on its main purpose, you'll decide what technologies to use to implement your features. We together figure out what database to use and also what program languages and CRM. It's also critical to find out the best solution for your app realization to meet your timeline and budget, like using APIs integrations, SDKs, or building features from scratch as well.

3. Testing & Launch

Time: 240 hours

Cost: $6 480

The development stage happens along with continuous testing run by QA engineers – we do many different tests to check if everything works correctly in your application. Our team corrects errors if they occur. How much time IT specialists need to complete your app will depend on its complexity.

Hence, now you should get a clear understanding of Clubhouse clone app development. Then we agree with you on the final version of your audio-based social media, and our team launches your project.

4. Creating technical documentation

Time: 40 hours

Cost: $1 600

The company's IT specialists create a document that contains all the necessary information about your application.

So, we figured out the approximate prices and time for each stage of development. And now, for convenience, we will present all this below in one table.

# Stages Time Cost

1

Estimation, Research & UI/UX design

280 hours

$8 400

2

Development

640 hours

$25 600

3

Testing

240 hours

$6 480

4

Creating technical documentation

40 hours

$1 600

Total

1 200 hours (5 month)

$42 080

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Do you want to know precisely how much it costs to develop a voice chat app like Clubhouse?

If you still have some questions about your idea or project, drop us a line, and we will get back to you with a free quote. Our software developers team has experience in voice and video chat apps of various complexity, so together, we will deliver a truly cutting-edge solution on the market.

Contact our Softermii team to get to know the precise cost to develop an app like Clubhouse, and we will help you.

Clubhouse-like App Development Challenges

Developing a Clubhouse-like app brings not only benefits but also challenges. Before diving deep into the development process, you should learn about them as it'll help you avoid all potholes on the road to a neatly working application. Target audience

It's important to know who you're developing an app for. What's the age of your main audience, its field of occupation, hobbies, and interests. It'll help in the design and development process, make your app easy to use and attractive and engage users from the start.

Monetization

Usually, it's not enough to learn about your target audience, its demographics, and interests. In order to grow your business, you should also outline the ways of your app's monetization. Skilled business analysts might help at the stage of the market research.

Quality of the audio

Let's not forget the main feature of Clubhouse-like apps is to provide users with smooth audio experiences. Thus you should pay special attention to the quality of the audio. If you aim to pursue high-quality audio, it is necessary to use WebRTC. This open-source project has the proper APIs that will make seamless communications possible.

Softermii Experience

Building an app like Clubhouse isn't simple. As a result, you must hire a team with years of experience in app development and meet your expectations. At Softermii, our skilled developmental team can ensure that your concept will become a reality and that you will receive a high-performing voice chat app.

We will work with you on every step of the audio chat app development process, starting with the foundation of your idea. We will help you with not only your technical goals but also your business goals. We provide expert management, quality assurance, and product support, so you receive a final product that you are completely satisfied with.

In addition, our team built Scoby – an innovative audio and video-conferencing application. It unites all the best conversational apps' benchmarks and brings them to a new level. The team behind the project faced numerous challenges.

We had to conduct market and business analysis to find out how the final product should fit the market. Creating a social network app has to require modern standards to be competitive, viral, and meaningful.

Final Thoughts

Audio chat applications have become increasingly popular, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic. There has been a 220% increase in mobile apps in the business sector alone. As a result, budding entrepreneurs have been quickly racing to create the next Clubhouse.

However, simply creating a basic voice chat app doesn't guarantee success. To create a successful app, you will need to ensure that you have key features that appeal to users. Examples include customizable notifications, social media integration, and end-to-end encryption.

To build a modern application, you need modern technologies. You also need experts who know how to utilize them properly – experts like our developers at Softermii. Create the next popular voice chat app and contact us for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process for Clubhouse-like app development?

When it comes to Clubhouse clone app development, you must decide what you will develop: MVP or full version of an app. A product development process stands for the multiple stages that a software development team takes to bring the idea of a product into reality by undergoing software product development steps.

Thus, we rely on the software development life cycle (SDLC). The procedure implies building high-quality software within the shortest possible period, in line with the 7 phases of the software development life cycle.

The development life cycle of the process to create an app like Clubhouse involve:

  • the assessment of the user's needs,
  • research on customer behavior and marketplace competition,
  • creation and visualization of the roadmap,
  • concept design,
  • code development,
  • creation of a minimum viable product.
  • testing
  • creation of a full version of an app

With a seamless and well-designed SDLC process, we don't miss a thing and find the balance and the best possible solutions between different actions while developing software.

How long does it take to create a Clubhouse-like app?

Similar to the costs, the length of time entirely depends on various factors. On average, however, apps with a low level of complexity will take approximately three months. For a medium and high level of complexity with more features, it can take four to six months to build an app like Clubhouse.

Does Clubhouse use WebRTC?

If you want to create a social media app like Clubhouse, you should know that the main service to pursue is high-quality audio. Therefore, it is necessary to use WebRTC. This open-source project has the proper APIs that will make seamless communications possible.

What tech stack to use for the back-end to make an app like Clubhouse?

If you've decided to start an app like Clubhouse, you will need to have powerful back-end support. It ensures that there is smooth and uninterrupted communication between users. If you target a worldwide audience, it is recommended that you use Elixir, .NET, Ruby, and C++.

However, if your user base is smaller and more local, you can have your back-end specialists work with Node.js, which is cheaper and simpler.

How do you ensure your Clubhouse-like app is secure?

The first thing we do to provide the highest security to software solutions integrates security into the entire software development life cycle (SDLC). It enables, rather than inhibits, the delivery of high-quality, highly secure products. Also, we make sure that all the products we develop comply with all the necessary data security rules. We perform penetration testing to avoid critical errors and potential security breaches.

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