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How Much Does It Cost to Build an App Like Clubhouse?

cost to build an app like clubhouse

Building an app like Clubhouse, the audio-based social networking platform that took the world by storm, involves multiple factors that can significantly influence the overall cost. These factors include the app’s features, design complexity, development team location, and the platform(s) for which the app is being developed. In this blog post, we’ll delve into these components to comprehensively understand the costs associated with creating an app similar to Clubhouse.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a social networking app that allows people to connect and communicate through audio conversations. Unlike traditional social media platforms that rely heavily on text and visual content, Clubhouse creates an environment where users can join virtual rooms and engage in real-time voice chats about various topics.

The Rise of Clubhouse came when people were looking for new ways to connect online, especially during the pandemic. It quickly gained popularity due to its unique format and the exclusivity of its invite-only model, making it a hot topic in the tech and social media world.

Clubhouse was founded in March 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. The app was initially launched for iOS devices and began as a small community of beta testers invited to join the platform.

The app started gaining traction in late 2020 and early 2021, attracting high-profile personalities and celebrities who were looking for new ways to engage with their audiences. This influx of influential users contributed to its rapid growth and increased public interest.

Key milestones for Clubhouse include reaching millions of users within its first year, expanding to Android devices in May 2021, and securing significant investment from venture capital firms. These achievements helped solidify its place in the social media landscape.

Key Features of Clubhouse

  • Audio-Only Interaction: Users communicate solely through voice.
  • Drop-In/Drop-Out Format: Flexibility to join and leave rooms at any time.
  • Rooms and Clubs: Organize discussions by interests.
  • Moderation Tools: Control who can speak or join rooms.
  • Notifications: Keep users informed about ongoing or upcoming discussions.

Why Clubhouse Became Popular?

Clubhouse’s rise can be attributed to its unique format, the pandemic driving people towards new forms of social interaction, and endorsements from high-profile celebrities and entrepreneurs. It combined exclusivity with a novel way of connecting with others in real time.

Major Competitors of Clubhouse

  1. Twitter Spaces: Integrated into an established social media platform.
  2. Spotify Greenroom: Leveraging Spotify’s vast music and podcast ecosystem.
  3. Discord Stage Channels: Popular among gamers and communities.

Required Technologies for Building an App-Like Clubhouse

  1. Real-Time Communication: Technologies like WebRTC for live audio streaming.
  2. Scalability: Cloud services like AWS or Google Cloud to handle user growth.
  3. Security: Ensuring data privacy and protection through encryption and secure protocols

How to Do Market Research for building App like Clubhouse?

Knowing who your audience is will guide your entire development process. Are you targeting professionals, hobbyists, or general social network users? Clubhouse initially targeted tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, but your audience could be different.

Besides Clubhouse, look at other audio social networks like Twitter Spaces or Discord. Understand their strengths and weaknesses to find your competitive edge.

Market research involves gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information about a market, including information about the target audience, competitors, and the industry as a whole. It’s essential for making informed decisions about your app development.

Types of Market Research

  1. Primary Research: Directly gathering data from potential users through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
  2. Secondary Research: Analyzing existing data from reports, studies, and online resources.

Importance of Market Research in App Development

Market research helps you understand your audience’s needs, identify market gaps, and reduce risks by making data-driven decisions. It provides a foundation for creating an app that resonates with users and stands a better chance of success.

Key Factors Influencing the Cost of building Apps like Clubhouse

  1. Features and Functionality

    • Core Features: To develop an app like Clubhouse, some core features are essential:
      • User Registration and Authentication: Sign-up/sign-in process via email, phone number, or social media.
      • User Profiles: Customizable profiles with personal information and activity logs.
      • Voice Rooms: The heart of Clubhouse, where users can create and join audio conversations.
      • Search and Discovery: Finding users, rooms, and clubs based on interests.
      • Notifications: Real-time alerts for room activities, follower actions, etc.
      • Club Creation: Users can create and manage clubs around various topics.
      • Moderation Tools: Features to manage participants, mute/unmute users, and report abuse.

    Developing these core features can take a substantial amount of time and resources, which directly affects the cost.

  2. Design Complexity

    • UI/UX Design: A seamless and intuitive user interface and user experience design are critical for an app like Clubhouse. This involves wireframing, prototyping, and user testing, which can be both time-consuming and costly.
    • Branding and Aesthetics: Creating a visually appealing and brand-consistent app involves collaboration with skilled designers, adding to the overall cost.
  3. Development Team

    • In-House vs. Outsourcing: Hiring an in-house team might provide better control and communication but is generally more expensive than outsourcing to a development agency, especially in regions with lower labor costs.
    • Team Composition: A typical team includes project managers, frontend and backend developers, UI/UX designers, and QA testers. The experience and location of these professionals can significantly impact the cost.
  4. Platform Selection

    • iOS, Android, or Both: Developing a native app for both iOS and Android platforms will almost double the cost compared to developing for a single platform. Cross-platform development using frameworks like Flutter or React Native can be a cost-effective alternative.
  5. Backend Infrastructure

    • Server Costs: Real-time audio streaming requires robust backend infrastructure, which can be costly. Using cloud services like AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure offers scalability but involves recurring costs.
    • Database Management: Efficient storage and retrieval of user data, room recordings (if applicable), and other information require well-structured databases, adding to the complexity and cost.
  6. Maintenance and Updates

    • Ongoing Support: Post-launch, regular updates, bug fixes, and new feature additions are necessary to keep the app competitive and engaging.
    • Server Maintenance: Ensuring uptime and handling server loads, especially during peak times, is crucial for an app like Clubhouse.

Estimated Costs of Building Apps like Clubhouse

Given these factors, the cost of developing an app like Clubhouse can vary widely. Here’s a rough breakdown based on different stages and complexity levels:

  1. Basic MVP (Minimum Viable Product):
    • Features: Basic user registration, profile creation, voice rooms, and notifications.
    • Estimated Cost: $30,000 – $50,000
  2. Mid-Level App:
    • Features: All MVP features plus advanced search, club creation, moderation tools, and more refined UI/UX.
    • Estimated Cost: $50,000 – $100,000
  3. Advanced App:
    • Features: All mid-level features plus enhanced security, in-app purchases, detailed analytics, and cross-platform support.
    • Estimated Cost: $100,000 – $200,000+

The cost to build an app like Clubhouse can range significantly based on various factors.  For a basic MVP, you might spend around $30,000 to $50,000, while a fully-featured, polished app could range from $100,000 to $200,000 or more.


Building an app like Clubhouse is a complex and resource-intensive endeavor. The cost can vary significantly based on the features, design, development team, platform, and ongoing maintenance. It’s essential to carefully plan and prioritize features to manage the budget effectively. Partnering with a reliable development team and conducting thorough market research can help in creating a successful app that resonates with users and stands out in the competitive landscape of social networking applications.

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