You might’ve heard of Clubhouse by now. It’s unlikely you’ve joined Clubhouse.
That’s because the new social media platform has built its reputation, in part, on exclusivity. You have to secure an invite to get in although that might soon change. Here’s what you need know about Clubhouse in case you soon find yourself using it.
What is Clubhouse?
In short: Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app. The company describes itself as “a new type of social product based on voice [that] allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world.”
Basically, you can jump in and out of different chats, on different subjects, in something akin to a live, free-flowing podcast. You can simply listen or choose to throw in your thoughts. Imagine a cocktail party or, clubhouse.
Vogue described the app‘s experience as “a dizzying bringing together of live podcast-style conversations, panel discussions, networking opportunities (some savvy people are already swapping ‘influencer’ for ‘moderator’) and advantageous multiple-room use (locked and private options are available so you can talk to pals too), the social-media app mimics real-life interactions.”
The audio itself, however, doesn’t leave the app. That’s the main rule: There’s no recording of conversations and they’re not saved.
Who uses Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is big with celebrities. Float around the app and you might hear folks like Oprah, Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, or Ashton Kutcher. They might even host chats. In some ways, that’s part of Clubhouse’s appeal. You get the chance to hear, and even participate in, unvarnished conversations with famous and powerful people. Refinery29 described networking as the primary reason for Clubhouse’s rising popularity.
Other than celebrities, the app is seemingly focused on people it considers an elite clientele. It became a status symbol of sorts for Silicon Valley types after its launch last year. The whole invite-only thing was apparently taken pretty seriously. But it’s now growing. Taylor Lorenz for the New York Times reported in December that it had 600,000 registered users and has been courting influencers.
Who made it?
Paul Davison and Rohan Seth found the app last year. By May, it was valued at around $100 million despite have just 1,500 users at the time, according to CNBC.
What’s the controversy with Clubhouse?
Clubhouse already has abuse and content moderation — or lack thereof — problems. As the Times noted, there have been numerous complaints that Clubhouse hasn’t done much to protect folks from abuse.
How do you get an invite to Clubhouse?
Right now, you still cannot join Clubhouse without an invite. If you’re an iPhone user, though, you can download the app and reserve a username, if that sort of thing interests you. But the app apparently plans to expand to the general public soon. It says it hasn’t done that yet for two reasons: It wants to build community slowly and it wants to prepare features that will help it handle larger numbers of people.
“We are building Clubhouse for everyone and working to make it available to the world as quickly as possible,” the app’s site reads.
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