Mysterious, exclusive, and the internet’s shiny new toy: it’s the Clubhouse App, a new social media platform based on audio and voice. Launched in April 2020, Clubhouse was built to amplify the “intonation, inflection and emotion conveyed through voice,” allowing users to engage in a back-and-forth dialogue with others, form uniquely human connections, and build more empathetic relationships on social media.
Check out the BIGteam’s deep dive into Clubhouse – what it is, how to use it, and why you should be paying attention to the newest star on the social media scene.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is a completely audio-based social media app that relies on voice as its primary method of communication. An invitation-only platform, the app has skyrocketed in popularity due to its exclusivity and unique format.
Clubhouse lacks the common staples of other social media apps like Instagram and Facebook – all interaction is voice based, and there are no written comments or messages. The platform allows people to tell stories, share ideas, make connections, ask questions, debate, and learn, all in real time. Structured as a fuse between a series of Instagram Lives and a free-flowing podcast, the app allows users to jump in and out of “Rooms,” and experience a variety of conversations: from networking opportunities to interviews with their favorite celebrities. You can choose to listen in or contribute (if invited to do so). Clubhouse’s one main rule? No audio leaves the app: there is no recording of conversations and audios are not saved, terms all users must agree to when signing up for the platform.
How it works
When you open the app, you’re invited into the Clubhouse “Hallway” – the equivalent of an “Explore Page” on Instagram or “For You Page” on TikTok – a curated space based on who you follow, where users can scroll through a number of “Rooms.”
Rooms are the primary interactive feature of Clubhouse – a space where users can join the “Audience” as a muted listener (think: listening to a podcast). Rooms shown in the hallway are public and can be joined by any user at any time. Users can also host private rooms with one or more of their connections to have a private chat.
If brought up to the stage by the moderator of the room you’re in, you become a “speaker” (think: a participant in an Instagram Live). Like any Zoom or video call these days, it’s customary to stay muted while someone else is speaking to minimize background noise and be courteous to fellow attendees. Looking to become a speaker or moderator? Users are also given the opportunity to start their own Room, where they can host conversations based on the topic of their choosing and even use the calendar feature to schedule upcoming events.
Bored of the room you’re in? Leave anytime by hitting the “leave quietly” button to peace out. ✌️
How to get invited
As the app is still in its beta stage, Clubhouse will remain invite-only. When you download the app, Clubhouse scans existing contacts in your phone to see if you already have a connection on the app who can invite you. If so, you’re in luck! Your contact will be notified immediately and given the option to grant you access.
Alternatively, prospective Clubhouse users can also join the “waitlist,” which is available to any first-time user. While Clubhouse was not initially intended to be an exclusive app, its founders have noted the importance of growing a community slowly, as opposed to “10x-ing the user base overnight,” which helps to ensure the app doesn’t crash, keeps the user base diverse, and allows the Clubhouse team to make adjustments to the app as they go.
What is the appeal?
The reason for Clubhouse’s rise to fame can largely be attributed to its exclusivity. The “invitation-only” status of the app has allowed it to build a reputation on the excitement that comes with arriving as an early adopter. But as the app grows in popularity, its invite-only policy is likely to change – so what will be its staying power?
As Clubhouse’s founders emphasize – the platform offers an intimate space where all people have a chance to listen and speak to others about their passions, ideas, and interests. Unlike Instagram or Twitter, the app is easy to use while engaged with other tasks. From doing laundry to taking your lunch break, Clubhouse offers a hands-free way to connect. One feature that stands out among the rest is that users can minimize the app while using other apps. 🤯 Similar to the way we listen to Spotify or our favorite podcast, Clubhouse allows the purest form of social media multitasking – allowing users to leave the app without losing their place in the chatroom.
In addition to its convenience, Clubhouse gives users the opportunity to connect with their favorite celebrities – from Drake to Ashton Kutcher – in a unique, personal way. As opposed to the one-way interaction model of podcasts, Clubhouse offers users the chance to hear and participate in conversations with famous people, entrepreneurs, network connections, or even new friends.
Interested in joining Clubhouse? Let us know what you think of this new app in the comments below and be sure to share your thoughts with us on Twitter!