The "China Clubhouse" arms race has begun, and Inke "Dialogue Bar" takes a step forward

The “China Clubhouse” arms race has begun, and Inke “Dialogue Bar” takes a step forward

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Text | Zhang Xinyu

Interview | Yu Yangyang Zhang Xinyu

On the evening of February 20th, Feng Yousheng, the founder of Inke, used his contacts to build an online audio bureau, and brought together several big shots in the venture capital circle, Bao Fan, Zhu Xiaohu, and Zhou Yahui for a dialogue. The theme is also very “venture capital”. At a glance, it is the most concerned topics of investors and entrepreneurs from the beginning of 2021 to the entire Spring Festival:

Can a Clubhouse be made in China?

Since the Clubhouse could not be visited in mainland China (which is also predictable), many people who have been involved or just heard about this trend are waiting for a group of “Chinese version of Clubhouse”, some are looking for new opportunities, some are pure Curious, there are some people who just want to mock the copycats of pixel-level imitation. It must be admitted that in the past Chinese Internet history, most successful products and companies can indeed find prototypes and provenance in Silicon Valley.

But this is not important anymore. In an era when “innovation from 0 to 1” is more and more unattainable, entrepreneurs and investors are more willing to pursue “innovation from 1 to 1.1”. According to a report by Silicon Valley technology media The Information, after Clubhouse became popular, dozens of voice start-ups raised funds from different venture capital institutions. They were ambitious and compared themselves to Zoom, Discord, Snap and TikTok.

Therefore, the issue of “Can a Clubhouse be made in China” is more realistic to most people.

Large companies and geeks in China and the United States have started social exploration in the audio field for a long time. Almost all IM products also have voice chat functions, but Clubhouse is still worthy of our study. This is not because it attracted Elon Musk as a platform for it-that is just a result, but its simple interaction, limited growth strategy, unique social distribution model, information does not precipitate and leave traces.

Clubhouse is a product born in Silicon Valley, sought after by Silicon Valley investors, and deeply rooted in Californian culture. Users can feel the deep Silicon Valley brand in the experience of using Clubhouse. And this set does not necessarily apply to the Chinese environment.

There is no doubt that the reason why Feng Yousheng saved this game is to bring his old friends to promote his own home-grown Clubhouse-like product-“Talk”.

Talk Bar App

Judging from the current product form, Dialogue Bar is everywhere in the shadow of Clubhouse. But its users are extremely tolerant. In the various rooms in the current conversation about Clubhouse, everyone did not focus on the extent to which this product imitated Clubhouse, but started a very extensive discussion on the development of social products.

For this reason, 36Kr interviewed Jiang Yuhang, the project leader of Inke’s Dialogue Bar. He chatted with us about the whole process of the birth of Dialogue Bar and their team’s understanding of Clubhouse like products. A significant difference from Clubhouse’s strategy is that Dialogue Bar will be launched on the Apple and Android stores as soon as the development is completed. Actively use BD’s various big V and small V channels to use Dialogue. It’s still in the Friends Bureau of Fengyou A large number of verification codes are open to interested users, but Jiang Yuhang does not think he wants to turn Dialogue Bar into a media-based audio product.

“Speed ​​is very important.” Jiang Yuhang explained to this, the most important strategy for the dialogue now is to bring in big Vs from all walks of life and play high.

The following is the dialogueJiang Yuhang’s sharing, the content has been edited and organized by 36Kr:

36Kr: Let’s talk about how you did the conversation.

Jiang Yuhang: On the morning of February 3rd, I went to our CEO Feng Yousheng and said that I would do the (Chinese version of Clubhouse), but after the discussion in the morning, it was not confirmed yet. In the evening, our COO told me, Do it now.

So our project team stopped the iterative work of the product at hand from the evening of the 3rd. We started designing new products on the evening of the 3rd, and officially started to make new products on the 4th, until February 7th, we had completed the development, a total of 4 days of development.

It was tested for a day on February 8, and the first version was submitted on February 9. Apple passed the TestFlight version on the same day, and then we started the internal testing in our group.

On February 10th, we launched all Android and Apple stores, and it was smoothly before New Year’s Eve on February 11.

Our previous products have tried to do audio social networking, but it may be due to the general public and the crowd positioning is wrong. The public users actually do not have any content output ability, and the listeners find it meaningless. After doing this for 4 months, the effect is not very good. I stopped and stopped doing audio and video directions.

Since Musk pushed the Clubhouse into flames, the country has become popular. We came back to think about audio socialization again. It was true that we did something wrong at the time and we had the wrong idea. We still need to raise strangers to socialize slowly.

At present (February 20), our users have an average usage time of nearly three hours. There are more than 4,000 registered users and more than 1,000 active users. When doing activities today, the online peak is more than 3,000.Because we are still very strict now, in fact, if we let go a little bit, the energy will be very large.

36氪: How to consider the current competitive environment? There will definitely be many teams who want to be the Chinese version of Clubhouse.

Jiang Yuhang: First of allSpeed ​​must be very important. Whoever plays first may be the first to strike, so the goal set at that time was to be online before the Spring Festival.

And big companies will consider more policy and regulatory risks. The few big companies in the social field we have recently contacted either temporarily did not enter the market, or there is no higher strategic level instruction to do this.

Although our team currently has only a dozen people, it is really hard. Although the product was launched before and after the Spring Festival, I worked overtime until four or five in the evening for several consecutive nights. The New Year’s Eve dinner was also taken out. A colleague of us got off work at three or four in the morning on the first day of New Year’s Eve. After half an hour, he got a car. After getting in the car, the driver told him that the whole Chaoyang District is now taking orders from my car. Arrived.

So did I myself. I went back to my hometown in Sichuan on the first day of the middle school. Because the product was not stable in the early stage of its launch, there were many bugs that needed to be fixed.

We have all the functions we should have now, and other people will make a new product now, which may be what we were like a week ago, and we will run faster.

But it is also possible that we will die if we do it first, but I think it will enable users to move offline communication to online. Those daily normal exchanges, not entertaining exchanges.

In addition to the first-mover advantage, our second strategy is to play high, which is also our current focus. We must first find the top V in various industries. For example, in the venture capital circle, our bosses often come up to talk, and we also use the relationship of the boss to bring in big names such as Bao Fan, Zhu Xiaohu, and Zhou Yahui. This is also the reason why there are more topics in venture capital.

Later, it will slowly extend to other circles, such as Hong Huang, which is invited by our users spontaneously.Of course, when there are more and more big Vs, we will look for super big Vs with breaking influence, hoping to introduce them.

Compared with the more entertaining audio social functions of some large platforms, our user tonality will be more inclined to knowledge sharing, and users will get useful information instead of consuming time. And users want equal opportunities for communication, it feels very natural, rather than a very powerful person speaking there.

36Kr: What is the future development direction or form of Dialogue? Will it be more media-based, or an equal-rights community? Do ordinary people have enough acceptance of audio social?

Jiang Yuhang:I think we must not be the media, we may be somewhere between community and social.

We discovered this problem when we were working on the first version. The public users were reluctant to open the voice.We can only hire people, and then drive ordinary users to chat.

Clubhouse does not have text input, and we do not provide text input. If users want to express themselves, they must use voice. They only have to open the mouth once, and the pressure on the second mouth will be much less.So I think the user was used to expressing in words before, and then after he tried the voice once, his habit will be changed.This oneThe process is just like possible in the early days of Douyin. Everyone is reluctant to make videos, and then more and more people shoot, which will drive everyone to shoot.

36Kr: Clubhouse is non-marking, will you do information precipitation?

Jiang Yuhang:There is currently no plan to do precipitation.

We understand that it is just a conversation, just like after we have finished chatting, it might not make much sense to listen to this recording. In fact, the information we obtained at the time of a chat, I think it is enough. Some people may think that they can record and listen to some very head chats, but it is meaningless to record the chats of most users.

36Kr: On the basis of the form set by Clubhouse, what kind of expansion will you have?

Jiang Yuhang:The product will first reach the level of Clubhouse, and the other is localization.

Now in China, we feel that if this thing can finally run through, it depends on its business logic. This is the most critical. In the domestic environment, after being educated by platforms such as Weibo and Douyin, big Vs must talk about commercial monetization. If there is no benefit, they may soon be lost.

So we are studying two things, one is how to bring traffic to these head users,The other is how to make them realize. These are the two key points that we think we can operate the entire product ecology next.

We are doing this stage now, similar to the early WeChat, which is a communication tool, everyone is chatting, and the next step may be the official account..just likeMake another WeChat model, but build on the basis of voice.In fact, the imagination we see now is very large, there is a very large market, a market that is waiting to be created and transformed.

I think for users, the threshold for expressing in dialogue is lower than writing articles. You don’t need to think about it, and you don’t need to carefully craft each copy. It’s good to just say your point of view.

36Kr: But we have seen before that the commercialization of podcasts is very difficult. Inserting advertisements in audio is not like short videos, and users’ payment habits are not well educated.

Jiang Yuhang: I think the crowd of podcasters is not accurate. For example, a group of awesome people who like trendy shoes have a channel to discuss trendy shoes and form an organization. They often come to share things about trendy shoes. Then many people follow this organization, then they can give some trendy shoes. The equipment brands bring the goods, very accurate, and the user acceptance is also high.andOnline real-time discussions will be much better than recorded commercials, and the audience will feel that they are chatting with friends.

I think everyone may still be thinking about this relatively statically. I think it must be dynamic. The key is what drives the user’s expression. After all, speaking up is much less difficult than shooting a Douyin.

36Kr: One unsolvable problem faced by the last wave of social products is that end users will all go to the “add a WeChat” stage. Do you worry about users returning to WeChat when you make this product?

Jiang Yuhang: This pairReal acquaintance socializing is inevitable, he will go to his communication tool.But when there is an irreplaceable experience on WeChat, he will still be active here,He is looking for new people, and he has to accept new things, so the efficiency of WeChat is too low.

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