Communication became even more vital in 2020, especially for apps and sites like Zoom and Slack. However, one digital platform that’s growing in popularity (and even has a waitlist!) is Clubhouse, the chatroom frequented by A listers and influencers a-like
Launched shortly after the coronavirus pandemic began, Clubhouse has quickly grown into the must-have platform for promoting creative projects and engaging in topical discussions through audio. So, how does it work? Users can enter different ‘chatrooms’ with themes covering numerous topics in the realms of fashion, technology, beauty, culture, film, music, and more. Once you enter a room, you’re instantly immersed in a conversation between people who are “onstage” and the “audience” that listens (users can mute themselves upon entry). Additional moderators can invite other people to join the talk, set “club rules,” and work to keep the “on stage” conversations moving—but no topics are off-limits, and guidelines are few and far between.
The discussions on Clubhouse are extremely diverse, ranging from Real Housewives recaps to the inner workings of independent films. But there are some specifications for their use: for example, users can’t record discussions, but they can view scheduled panel talks to join at later times. Similar to other the premise of a sent Snapchats or an Instagram Story, the discussions have no history—once they end, they’re permanently gone! Also similarly to other platforms, each user’s algorithm is uniquely curated based on their address book, who they follow on the app, and what topics are of interest to them. However, one key difference to other popular apps is that, being audio-based, Clubhouse has no options for videos or photos (save for the option to upload your own profile photo, of course.)
There’s a few reasons why it’s so talked-about right now. Clubhouse is fairly new to the tech scene, but was only in development for a handful of months before its launch. Cofounders Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth wanted to create a platform for solely spoken content, which they began work on in late 2019, before launching in April 2020. According to Vogue, the app has since received $12 million in funding.
Curious? Here’s a quick look at what’s been going on in the app recently. (In short: anything and everything!)
Amazing moment in social media: After everyone’s going crazy for the Martin Shkreli piece (https://t.co/zQJdWkaVDg), the subject of the story, Christie, is answering everyone’s questions rn on Clubhouse pic.twitter.com/D1fucPCWkb
— Jason Feifer (@heyfeifer) December 21, 2020
All science communicators should try their best to get on the Clubhouse App. I’ve been on for a few days and have been apart of some great panels with some awesome scientists in front of huge audiences thirsty for information.
— John P. Moore III (@WxTrey) December 19, 2020
The live audio performance of #LionKingCH on @joinClubhouse is the most creative thing I’ve seen all year. @Lin_Manuel you would love this.
– audience of 5,000+ socially distanced
– 41 cast members and narrators
– profile pics changing scenes
Kudos @noellechesnutw + cast!💐👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/SSwgggG9LV
— Janine Sickmeyer (@myfriendjanine) December 27, 2020
What was my first Clubhouse experience like? Well, I opened up and shared some of my life experiences that I’ve never shared before with a group of friends, associates, and complete strangers… I say it was a great first experience!! #Clubhouse
— 𝐂𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐧 (𝐌𝐫. 𝐌𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐚) (@Amaz1nONE) December 16, 2020
Listening to a chat about the struggles of parenting while patting my 2 year old back to sleep. Everyone should join this @joinClubhouse room every week. It’s not just about parenting it’s about empathy and connection. https://t.co/qIurP7nyTU
— Elani Buchan (@elanibuchan) December 16, 2020
Networking appears to be the main draw for Clubhouse, as people can vocally engage with each other throughout discussions. The limited amount of users (currently 600,000) and invite-only access ensures that it remains exclusive—almost akin to a cocktail party or discussion panel, minus the visuals. Especially in the wake of COVID-19, where in-person networking events aren’t happening and isolation between individuals has grown, it’s a solid option for engaging with higher-ups in your industry in real-time.
And with exclusivity, of course, comes celebrities. Clubhouse has already captured the interest of numerous famous figures like Virgil Abloh, Drake, Ava DuVernay, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, and Ashton Kutcher. Ergo the chances are, if you have an invite to the app, you’re more than likely to interact with a star at some point.
The app’s exclusive nature has placed unregistered users on a waitlist. So much like an Hermes Birkin, Mansur Gavriel’s Bucket Bag, or Cult Gaia’s Ark, you’ll have to wait to receive access to Clubhouse. (This stems from the app still being in its beginning stages of beta testing.) New members are given one invite each, but aside from that, the app has no side entrances, back doors, or secret access passes—you’ll just have to wait until it’s open to the public!
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