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Cover image for Agora: the technology that made Clubhouse possible

Agora: the technology that made Clubhouse possible

Anastasiya Dumyak
Sales & Marketing manager @ Perpetio
・3 min read

But how does Clubhouse actually work? That’s the question techies started posing immediately after the app’s rapid rise. Clubhouse’s team doesn’t really like sharing the tech stack they use, so many details about how this solution was built are still unknown.

Still, the app’s creators didn’t keep all the secrets for long, and it was revealed that the Chinese company Agora stands behind the voice-calling functionality of the app. So what’s Agora’s role in the Clubhouse’s success? Let’s find out!

What is Agora?

Agora is a PaaS (platform-as-a-service) company offering real-time audio and video calling APIs (application programming interfaces). Basically, it helps developers integrate voice and video calls as well as live streams and real-time messaging into any app or platform they have.

Before collaborating with Clubhouse, it was a rather small-scale Shanghai-based company helping several Chinese enterprises with their communication from 2013 onwards.

Just one mention of Agora powering Clubhouse, and now it is a $10 billion worth platform. One might call it an overnight success: a well-deserved one.

How does it all work?

This technology utilities pay-as-you-use business model, meaning that it is quite a cost-effective way to integrate new communication features into your platform: you pay based on how many people use your product.

Agora states that it only takes a few lines of code to get voice or video conferencing functionality on your platform. Needless to say, that being so easy to implement is a huge advantage for any technology. Can you believe that Clubhouse was actually built on Agora in just a week?

At our mobile app development company Perpetio we tested this when recreating the Clubhouse features with Flutter. And guess what? Agora’s integration was a piece of cake for us as well!

Addressing the data breach controversy

Recently, Agora has received even more attention and, let’s say, not a pleasant one. Many Clubhouse users got worried over their data privacy. Why? Several vulnerabilities were found in Agora.

Later on, these concerns turned out to be justified as some data, such as users’ personal information and audio streams from the rooms, was shared by third-party sources.

Time to cancel Clubhouse? Too soon — Agora’s and Clubhouse’s representatives claimed that the platform’s security was enhanced and such situations shouldn’t happen again. And it seems that the app’s users don’t plan to delete the application any time soon.

Let’s remember that similar incidents happened to many major companies, so it is not something entirely out of the ordinary or too critical. Now, we can be sure that both Agora and Clubhouse will take better care of their security measures.

Is Agora worth the hype?

Clubhouse indeed gave Agora a colossal boost and attracted global attention to this once local start-up. Now, Agora is getting more and more partners from all over the world and has all chances of becoming a major player on the voice and video calling service providers.

Surely, it wouldn’t have happened if Agora wasn’t a useful service — Clubhouse creators chose it for a reason, and so did many other enterprises. And we can totally see why: we used Agora for our Clubhouse clone app tutorial and are happy with both the process and the result. It really is a worthy service that you will most likely hear more and more about.

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