Clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app, launched in April 2020 as a space for creatives to network all over the world. Launched by software developers Alpha Exploration Co., as of December 2020 Clubhouse was valued at nearly $100 million. On January 21, 2021, the valuation reached $1 billion and it has attracted over a million people worldwide.
1. How it works
Clubhouse is based on the idea of virtual networking and is an app that uses voice only. It works on an invite-only basis so that subscribers get that feeling of exclusivity, but also to ensure that the people who get accepted are genuine. Once you sign up, you’ll have to wait to be invited, or get in right away with an invitation from an existing member.
Once invited to the app, Clubhouse is made up of ‘rooms’, which anyone can join or start, and are titled with the topic of discussion. Inside these ‘rooms’, there is a moderator (the person who started the room and who controls everything there), and the audience. If you want to speak, you can ‘raise your hand’ and be brought up to the ‘stage’ with the moderator.
With each major app update, we change our icon to spotlight one of the many incredible members of the community.— Clubhouse (@joinClubhouse) December 11, 2020
Today we celebrate the inimitable @IamBomaniX, host of the #CottonClub! On behalf of the Clubhouse community, thank you for all that you do! (📷: @TheArtHype) pic.twitter.com/k9P6gQUuNQ
2. The conversations
The discussions that take place in the ‘rooms’ of Clubhouse vary hugely. You can find people discussing entertaining stories of their worst dating app experiences, or a heated argument about a kettle (this really did happen, and continued for more than 24 hours). You can make business contacts and deals, or you can audition to star in a live recording of famous musicals. In Clubhouse, the world is your oyster.
3. The people
The people themsleves in the ‘rooms’ can also vary hugely. You may enter a ‘million-dollar room’, where the speakers are all millionaires, or one filled with budding entrepreneurs, or one that just sounds entertaining and is full of people just having a chat. The ‘rooms’ can have 100, 200, 300 or more people in, but all are looking for great conversations, just like you. Many are open to networking and chatting, and if you connect from their profile to their other social media profiles, like Instagram or Twitter, you already have a head start because they know you from Clubhouse, where you were just chatting live with them. All this make the new social media app the ideal place for to marketers and entrepreneurs.
4. Celebrities on Clubhouse
In addition the rich on Clubhouse, there is also the famous. One of the draws of the app is that celebrities who join are just like anyone else, as it is voice-based. So far it has attracted stars like Drake, Oprah Winfrey, Jared Leto, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart and Joe Budden. Celebrities have no power or privilege unless they’ve created the room or are the moderators, which is pretty different to real life. This can be a positive, or a negative.
For example, there was a ‘room’ created with the title ‘Is Kevin Hart Funny??’ following the release of his latest Netflix special, in which the actor himself was present. After listening to others tear apart his comedic talents, the actor was eventually brought to the stage to have his say in the debate, which quickly got heated over an ‘inappropriate’ joke about his teenage daughter.
Clubhouse also seems to be mixing up the concept of ‘celebrities’, making some ‘ordinary’ subscribers become just as, if not more popular than them. Ashleigh Louise is a ‘room’ moderator who now boasts almost 27,000 subscribers thanks to her firm and fair approach to moderating. ‘I can imagine it’s not making them feel so great because with celebrities, what makes us put them on the pedestal is the distance and the allure’, she explained. ‘So having them in close proximity, they’re probably not used to that so it disarms their celebrity. I think celebrities as a whole are wearing off and Clubhouse will be a key to that’.
🚨Elon Musk on Clubhouse 🚨@sriramk @aarthir you guys are going to be hosting the largest Room on clubhouse! There are rooms running right now about @elonmusk going to be live on @joinClubhouse— Harsha MV – 🏆 In it, to WIN it! 🎖 (@harshamv) February 1, 2021
Hope @pdavison has increased the room limit to beat @KevinHart4real room size 🤭 pic.twitter.com/44iLO6VnXk
Ashleigh predicts that the everyday person on Clubhouse can become the new celebrity if they give expert advice in their fields, similar to YouTubers or Instagram influencers. She explained, ‘You kind of get a new chance on Clubhouse because people can hear your tone and the context so it really can make or break a celebrity. I really do think it’s a place for some tarnished celebrities to make a name for themselves’. She concluded, ‘I really think it can work in their favour but if you don’t say things correctly, it has the potential to end careers.’
A new kind of app with the rich, the famous, and everyone in between. Clubhouse certainly seems to rocking the boat, and is gaining popularity extremely quickly as the ‘place’ to be in the networking world.