April 06, 2021 at 06:52PM

The audio-based social media platform Clubhouse unveiled its first monetization feature for creators on Monday (April 5), allowing users to send and receive payments.

“From the earliest days of Clubhouse, a guiding principle has been to build a platform that outs the creator first,” the company said in its announcement. “Our aim is to help creators build community, audience and impact. And as Clubhouse continues to scale, it’s important to us to align our business model with that of the creators — helping them make money and thrive on the platform.”

Based in San Francisco, Clubhouse bills itself as “a space for casual, drop-in audio conversations,” and boasts Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg among its visitors. Unlike other social media platforms, the invitation-only Clubhouse allows users to interact in a way that doesn’t involve liking or sharing content. Instead, Clubhouse members have full conversations, talking and listening to each other in online chatrooms. Instead of an algorithm determining what shows up in the feed, users pick rooms that interest them, with the freedom to leave any discussion that doesn’t feel right.

With its new Payments function, Clubhouse users can simply tap the profile of a creator — assuming they’ve got the feature enabled — and hit “send money.” From there, they can enter the amount they want to send (first-time users will need to register their credit or debit card).

The entirety of the payment will go to the creator, although users will be charged a processing fee that goes to Stripe, Clubhouse’s processing service. While all users can now send payments, the ability to receive payments will be rolled out in waves, beginning with a small test group. Clubhouse said it will fine-tune the feature based on user feedback before making it available to its entire audience.

Clubhouse had eight million downloads as of mid-February, up from 2.5 million in the earlier part of the month. As PYMNTS reported at the time, the app’s popularity has led to the launch of competing audio services, including one from Facebook.

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