Clubhouse – The Cool New Kid on the Block

Despite the tough year the world has faced, new opportunities and innovative ideas have arisen, and this is particularly the case amongst the technology sector as demonstrated by the newest player – Clubhouse. Clubhouse launched in April 2020, amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, but has already garnered huge hype, controversy, bans, super-famous users, and even a massive valuation. Could it be the next big thing?

What is the Clubhouse app and why has it rippled shockwaves in the technology sector?

Clubhouse app, unlike many previous social media apps, does not detach us from reality. Instead, this app has taken a step back in order to make a great leap forward. Clubhouse has pivoted away from the vastly popular, fast-paced, addictive, and even at times, unreflective style of social media. Its focus is on the more vintage aspects of traditional communication methods – Clubhouse is “part talkback radio, part conference call.” An ideal step away from business video conferencing. Clubhouse came at the perfect time. 

Clubhouse lives within the ‘Houseparty’ family group and is a social networking app that interweaves the audio aspect of podcasts, the live aspect of video conferencing, and the novelty of being invite-only. Clubhouse is exclusive and perhaps, even elitist. The likes of Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and many other social entrepreneurs have signed up and broadcasted live on Clubhouse. 

This app has become a tease with its audio-only format which traditional social media apps have been blindsided by. Users across the globe have huddled up, in the classic herd-mentality manner, to sign up and send out stylish invites to friends and family to unlock this upmarket app.  

What is it like once you are in?

Once you have access to the app, you are able to select from various topics of interest from the likes of business, technology, marketing to health, books, and sports. Recommendations of accounts and rooms are then presented to you based upon these interests. The more interests, the more recommended “conversation rooms” and accounts. Each conversation room is similar to a conference call, except most users are tuning in to a conversation of a few members speaking. The conversation room is then closed after the chat ends, just like an old school phone call – nothing is recorded in the app’s interface and the room disappears. (It is worth noting, users can still record the conversations themselves). 

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How does the invite system work?

In order to join, you need to first download the app from the Apple Store (sorry Android users!) and then wait for an existing Clubhouse user, who has your number, to send you an invite from their app to yours for entry. Once invited, a link is texted to your phone number, which directs you to a sign-up page within the app. The added exclusivity factor presents itself here, as each existing user, at first, is only given two invites to send out. However, Clubhouse is still in the ‘beta stage’ and has the vision of “opening up to the whole world”. 

Could it be the next big thing?

The popularity of Clubhouse, for many, lies in the audio-only format of its interface as it tries to revert back to an old-school nostalgic feeling of cable-telephone calls. The exclusivity and intimacy of the audio-only format within the app offers users a new novelty to try out during an age of rising technologies. For many, Clubhouse has offered a new source of entertainment with its retro audio-only format, and it’s on the rise with over two million active users already. However, Clubhouse should be aware of potential copy-casts, as established social media players may be brewing in the background.

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