Clubhouse finally rolls out much-awaited Backchannel direct messages feature: Here’s how to use it
Clubhouse has updated its apps with a direct messaging feature called Backchannel. Here’s everything you need to know about the new feature.
Clubhouse, the social audio app that launched last year, grew in popularity during the novel coronavirus pandemic and sparked a race among rivals Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Spotify and Discord that have all rushed to push out alternatives. The app has now made its first significant update that adds a much-requested feature – direct messaging. Called Backchannel, the new feature is now available for all Clubhouse users who have updated to the latest version of the app.
We previously reported that the Clubhouse developers had accidentally launched the feature (which was not functional) in a previous version of the app last month, then quickly released an update to hide the feature. Here's everything you need to know about the newly launched feature and how it works.
What is the Backchannel message feature?
On Wednesday, the audio-based platform announced the arrival of its latest feature on Twitter and on the company's blog, which will allow users to use Clubhouse to send messages to other Clubhouse users on the app. The company says that the new Backchannel feature has been one of the most requested features on the app.
Also read: Looking for a smartphone? Check Mobile Finder here.
My hat? Tipped— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) July 14, 2021
My mic? Flashed
My messaging? Direct.
After we unintentionally leaked their feature 5 times, here's our beloved engineering team introducing the new Clubhouse Backchannel 🥰 pic.twitter.com/3bPHeGxQaZ
How to send Backchannel messages
Everyone on Clubhouse can send Backchannel messages by tapping the aeroplane icon on the bottom right side of the screen or swiping left. Tap the pen and paper icon in the top right corner to start a new chat by picking a contact for a 1:1 chat, or two or more for a group chat. You can add up to 15 members in a group chat as of now.
Backchannel privacy features
However, only people who follow you will be able to see your messages. Other people will see your messages in a second “Requests” tab. Users will also be able to block messages from existing chats. When it comes to groups, only group moderators can add or remove other members but members can leave at any time. Users will also see a warning if they are added to a group with someone they have blocked, allowing them to leave the group.
Backchannel feature works for both moderators and audience members
Clubhouse says that the Backchannel feature can be used by hosts who want to plan events in advance, or actually discuss decisions while one is taking place – from things like upcoming questions to bringing people to the speakers' panel. Meanwhile, listeners will be able to talk to their friends in the audience by tapping the aeroplane icon (or swiping left) which will show the chat thread inside the app.
The Backchannel feature is still limited at the moment - you can't delete chats at the moment, according to the company's frequently asked questions, and group chats are limited to 15 members. However, considering this is the first version of the feature, these are likely to improve in upcoming versions of the app.