Why is Clubhouse so addicted to notifications?

by Jeremy

I’ve learned to dread Clubhouse notifications. They blow up my phone dozens of times a day, at all hours of the day and night. My childhood neighbor just joined the app. Do I want to “welcome” them in? How about the guy I went on three dates with six years ago? Someone is talking about podcasting. Someone else is discussing crypto (there’s always someone talking about crypto). The notifications are constant.

Screen time stats show Clubhouse delivered more than 400 notifications in a single week.

Sometimes, I wake up to a stream of notifications about conversations I missed because I was asleep. The worst is when I attempt to swipe information away and accidentally tap on it instead, which launches me straight into the room I was trying to avoid. I cringe at the thought that one day I might accidentally join one of those dreaded “welcome” rooms for an ex or an elementary school acquaintance. It’s not that I dislike Clubhouse, the buzzy audio chat startup that’s exploded in popularity in recent months. Even as a somewhat infrequent participant, I’ve enjoyed many of the conversations I’ve been a part of. But the app sends a lot of notifications. Even by thirsty growth-hack-at-all-cost Silicon Valley standards, Clubhouse notifications are on a whole other level.

Here are a few occasions when you might see a Clubhouse notification:

  • The moment anyone you’ve ever saved in your contacts list joins the app
  • When anyone you follow in the app starts a room
  • When anyone you follow speaks in a room
  • When someone you follow schedules a future conversation
  • When a conversation is planned for a club, you follow
  • If someone you know pings you to join a room

Sometimes, notifications come for no discernible reason: Someone you don’t know and don’t follow is talking in a room about a subject you have no interest in and never pursued. “It’s like the app is nagging me every time someone I follow is doing anything on Clubhouse,” says Jane Manchun Wong, an app developer, and Clubhouse user.

A Clubhouse spokesperson pointed to the app’s “new user guide,” which states that “notifications are important in Clubhouse since everything is live, and we encourage you to manage them to suit your preferences.” It notes that users who feel like they get too many notifications can change their settings to “very infrequently.”

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