Within the next 5-7 years, 90% of video content online may be deepfake:
Influencers are beginning to wear digital versions of physical clothing, ushering in the fashion metaverse. For founders, the rise of deepfakes means new opportunities.
Clubhouse has launched Replays, a highly requested feature that allows users to listen to conversations after they have ended. Is this new feature too late to save Clubhouse?
Founders Maxence Henneron and Oxana Ivanchenko hit $40,000 in monthly revenue with Sweepy, an app that helps you keep your house clean. Here's how they discovered that Sweepy had a unique audience, and leaned in.
Want to share something with nearly 85,000 indie hackers? Submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter. —Channing
🥸 Rise of the Deepfake Revolution
from the Growth & Acquisition Channels newsletter by Darko
Influencers are beginning to wear digital versions of physical clothes. Welcome to the fashion metaverse!
Influencers and deepfake
According to a recent Vogue article, an increasing number of influencers promote clothing without actually wearing it in real life. Instead, they are wearing digital versions of physical clothing:
Win-win for companies and influencers: Say you're a business wanting an influencer on the other side of the world to promote your cool t-shirt. Instead of sending physical samples, you could send digital ones. Here's another example:
Five days ago, Snap announced that it's testing a new integration that will allow users to virtually try on branded t-shirts and hoodies. Check out this video to get a better idea of what this integration will entail.
Digital samples aren't perfect yet, but they seem to be getting there. Consider how virtual clothes appeared in a campaign just two years ago:
Big improvement, right? I believe that the same thing will happen with videos. People will be able to try on virtual clothing in real-time, and it will likely become indistinguishable from real clothing on Snap and other social media platforms.
Nina Schick, author of Deepfakes: The Coming Infocalypse, interviewed several experts on this topic. Many of them predicted that within five to seven years, 90% of video content online is going to be deepfake.
That estimated timeframe is likely to be even shorter for images. There are already some mobile apps that allow you to wear digital clothes:
Big corporations are acquiring companies to improve this process. Snap, for example, acquired a "digital sizing" company back in March.
Deepfake for indie hackers
The pro: It will be much easier to create content.
- Text: We're already seeing an explosion of AI tools, often powered by GPT-3, that can generate ads, product descriptions, and actual blog content.
- Images: If you're into e-commerce, you'll be able to more easily collaborate with influencers by sending them digital samples. Also, OpenAI is working on a tool that will let you create images from text. Just describe what you want, and it generates images for you.
- Video: When most people think about deepfakes, they think of videos. We've already seen what Snap is doing with AR. And, if Nina's predictions come true, I can easily imagine text-to-video tools that allow you to describe what you want, and receive a video in return.
The con: Since everyone will be able to easily create content, standing out will become even more difficult.
What are your thoughts on the deepfake revolution? Share in the comments below.
Discuss this story, or subscribe to Growth & Acquisition Channels for more.
📰 In the News
from the Volv newsletter by Priyanka Vazirani
🦸♀️ Fortnite has given up on China amid regulatory restrictions.
📜 A new DAO aims to buy a copy of the US Constitution at auction.
💞 This library lets you borrow people instead of books.
👓 Snapchat is partnering with Sony Music to create new AR lenses.
👨👩👧👦 People are now hiring parents and grandparents for the family feel.
Check out Volv for more 9-second news digests.
⏮ Clubhouse's New Replays Feature
from the Indie Economy newsletter by Bobby Burch
Clubhouse creators now have a new way to distribute content. Replays allows creators to record rooms and repost on other platforms. But is this new feature too late?
The news: Clubhouse recently launched Replays, a highly requested feature that allows users to listen to recorded conversations whenever they'd like, as opposed to having to listen live.
Why it matters: With Replays, creators can now share their conversations on other platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. This creates additional opportunities for creators to connect with fans outside of Clubhouse.
Replays 101: Replays is an optional feature. When toggled on, it allows any user to replay an entire conversation. It acts like a podcast discovery feature, and allows for the best content on the site to find an audience on other channels. Replays also allows creators to pin links to specific segments, skip to the next speaker, see who’s joining the conversation, and see total attendee counts. Listeners can tune in at 1.5x or 2x speed, pause, and create 30 second clips from the recording. The downside is that creators cannot receive tips through Replays like they can in live conversations.
Too late? While creators are thrilled about the Replays feature, it may be too late to reverse Clubhouse’s downward trend. The app was downloaded roughly 900K times in April, down from its peak of 9.6M in February. Clubhouse had about 10M active weekly users in April, but had dropped down to 2M by August.
The background: Clubhouse exploded on the scene in early 2021, and landed a $4B valuation in April. Fast forward six months, and it seems that the party is over. Clubhouse has quickly shifted from cool, disruptive platform to flop that couldn’t keep up with its well-heeled competitors.
Clone wars: As quickly as Clubhouse attracted ears around the world, clones of its product took the market by storm. Twitter rolled out Spaces, Telegram offers Voice Chat 2.0, Instagram and Facebook both launched audio rooms, Spotify has Greenroom, Discord debuted Stages, and even LinkedIn got in on the action. These companies also benefited from having millions of users and much larger budgets to start with.
Android delays: For over a year, Clubhouse was only available for iOS devices. This decision shut out tens of millions of would-be users. It finally debuted its Android app in May, but by then, the hype was already dying down.
Invite-only: While Clubhouse’s invite-only approach initially added to its exclusivity and allure, it prevented many would-be users from joining. Clubhouse reversed course on its invite-only strategy in July, but that may also have been too late.
Live only: Up until the recent launch of Replays, Clubhouse maintained live conversations only. This made it difficult for fans to catch their favorite Clubhouse creators if their schedules didn't align with the live chats. With COVID-19 lockdowns largely behind us, Clubhouse has lost the captive audiences that propelled the platform forward earlier on in the pandemic.
Moderation: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized Clubhouse for its lack of moderation, claiming that the app did little to curb hate speech, racism, misinformation, and anti-Semitism on the platform. The ADL discovered a number of extremists and Holocaust deniers on the app, as well as purveyors of COVID-19 misinformation.
Waning quality: While largely anecdotal, many Clubhouse users have complained about a steady decline in the quality of conversations on the platform. The lack of organization and structure, combined with the influx of spam, seem to all be additional factors in Clubhouse's decline in quality. Also, many founders and creators who were once offering valuable information on the app have now left entirely, due to the drop-off in users.
What do you think of Clubhouse's decline? Let's chat below!
Discuss this story, or subscribe to Indie Economy for more.
🛠 Building in Public: Personal Insight
by Ivan Romanovich
Give readers an opportunity to learn from your experience.
Discuss this story.
🧹 Maxence Henneron and Oxana Ivanchenko Hit $40K MRR With Sweepy
from the Deep Dive newsletter by Seth King
Founders: Maxence Henneron and Oxana Ivanchenko.
Sphere of genius: Collaboration.
Maxence and Oxana got married in July 2019. Later that year, the couple built Sweepy, a B2C app that helps you keep your home clean and organized.
Today, the app has hit $40K MRR, and has attracted a very specific audience: People living with ADHD.
Indie Hackers sat down with Maxence to chat about how his wife learned to code, the couple’s approach towards accessible design, and freelancing while building.
What's your background?
I studied engineering at university in France, and after graduation, I did a few tech internships.
My wife doesn't have a tech background. She was actually a student in international economics, but taught herself to code. She built the front end of Sweepy.
What's your marketing strategy?
We are currently pivoting our marketing strategy to sponsor YouTubers, TikTokers, and other influencers, since we've had a few mention us.
Each time we were mentioned, we experienced a huge spike in numbers. So, we are moving more towards paying influencers and affiliate marketing.
What led to you and your wife working together?
We didn't want to work a traditional 9-5; it just felt boring and unfulfilling. When we decided to build a project together, we started thinking about tools that could improve our lives. We decided to find a better way to assign and manage chores between us.
We researched the competition by looking for similar apps on the App Store, and none of the apps we saw were well-designed. This encouraged us.
While working for B2B software companies, I noticed that each company had a huge marketing team. For that reason, we felt B2C was an easier space to be in than B2B, since we could sell via the App Store. Also, it's easier to find your first clients with B2C. You don’t need to be a well-known brand for consumers to buy, whereas with B2B software, you need to prove yourself before being able to sell it.
How long did it take to build Sweepy?
It took us about four months to release the first version. It was really simple.
My wife and I split the work in half. I did most of the back end and she did most of the front end. We both did the design. We did not invest anything, nor did we spend any of our money.
*Sweepy hit 1K reviews in October 2020
What marketing channels did you focus on?
When we released the app, Apple noticed it; they put it on the App Store's first page right away. On the first day, we had ~100 sales.
At the time, we were still freelancing, but seeing the successful launch convinced us that we had a product that people wanted to buy. After two weeks, however, we started to see a decline in new users. That's when we decided to move to paid marketing with Facebook Ads.
We didn't break even. We were losing money every day. But we were spending the money that we made from the first 100 sales, so we weren’t too concerned.
What design principles did you focus on?
What was important for us was designing color indicators. For example, if you open our app, you will see a color that represents that state of your home next to each of your rooms.
We also wanted to encourage the user to clean by using positive reinforcement. The app always motivates the user with nice messages.
We noticed that it was helpful having an app that tells you exactly what to do. Our premium feature is just that: A schedule that you have to follow every day to keep your house clean.
We get about 20 emails every day with user suggestions for new features. Most of what we've done so far is due to prioritizing what our users ask for the most.
Who uses Sweepy?
At the beginning, we thought people with children would gravitate to Sweepy. But we soon noticed that people with ADHD were using our app to make their lives easier. They were finding it useful to have a schedule every day.
When we saw this, we started focusing much more on mental health.
Advice for indie hackers?
Do not spend all your savings on a new project, because it might fail.
Spend as little money as possible. Get started, and validate that you have an audience behind your product.
Avoid any kind of software that requires a community to work (i.e. those where you need other people to be in the app too).
I talk to many founders. Many of them don't see how hard it is to build a community, and to build something that is interesting to that community. Many make the mistake of starting with this, and it holds their project back.
Discuss this story, or subscribe to Deep Dive for more.
🐦 The Tweetmaster's Pick
by Tweetmaster Flex
I post the tweets indie hackers share the most. Here's today's pick:
🏁 Enjoy This Newsletter?
Forward it to a friend, and let them know they can subscribe here.
Also, you can submit a section for us to include in a future newsletter.
Special thanks to Jay Avery for editing this issue, to Nathalie Zwimpfer for the illustrations, and to Darko, Priyanka Vazirani, Bobby Burch, Ivan Romanovich and Seth King for contributing posts. —Channing