Clubhouse could be working on ‘Backchannel’ in-app messaging service: Here's what it could look like
Popular social audio app Clubhouse recently added official support for Android devices, after a year of being exclusively available on iPhones. The app is still invite-only, but it has slowly been adding functionality that is centred around the app's main functionality – a drop-in social audio service. However, users have recently spotted a new Backchannel feature for Clubhouse, which hints at a completely unrelated feature coming to the app - the ability to send private messages.
The new feature, Backchannel, was spotted by users late last week, according to a recent report by The Verge. While this new Backchannel feature was not mentioned anywhere in the latest release notes of the app, it seems likely that the feature was accidentally rolled out in a stable version of the app as users were able to see the feature inside the app. It was reportedly removed in an update that was quickly pushed to users by the company.
However, before the new update arrived, users were able to capture screenshots and video recordings of the feature. A screen recording posted by one user shows a button at the bottom right corner of the ‘Lobby' that clearly resembles the paper plane icon, which is a clear giveaway for a messaging feature. However, clicking the button does not do anything, and the latest version of the app simply got rid of or hid the functionality.
According to the report, the company pointed to the weekly Town Hall events conducted by the founders every Sunday, but refused to confirm or deny the existence of the Backchannel feature. The company also told The Verge, “as part of our product building process, Clubhouse regularly explores and tests potential features. These functions sometimes become part of the app, sometimes they don't. We do not comment on potential features.”
It is not surprising to see a messaging feature on Clubhouse – after all, people who want to quickly discuss something while they are in a Clubhouse room are still forced to use another channel like WhatsApp, SMS or another messaging solution. Adding messaging features to the service would probably streamline the process of communicating on the platform.