Updated: Feb 12
Flashback to middle school. There’s gossip, note passing, and secret club passwords. The new invite-only app "Clubhouse" is just that...
We were given inside access to Clubhouse (lucky us), and here are our thoughts. Basically, Clubhouse is an App that allows users to drop-in to audio chats happening between others. Did you ever want to be a fly on the wall while Kanye West and Elon Musk are chatting? Well, now you can. The catch is...the App is invite-only. This means that you can only join if you’re invited by an existing user, and each user only gets two invites per account (so use them wisely).
So what goes on behind the Clubhouse’s closed doors? When you're welcomed into the secretive App, you first create a username. Then, you’re immediately led to a page that allows you to select your interests. These range from yoga, to Bitcoin, to women’s rights, etc. The topics are all over the place, and there are people waiting to dish the latest news. Once the “bouncers” let you in, you’re greeted with virtual rooms of audio-only chats about anything and everything.
The main page of the App is “The Hallway” (now it really sounds like middle school). The page provides you with a snippet of all the rooms that are "live" and the chats that are happening within each one. When you see one that is of interest, you can “quietly join” the virtual room, similar to listening in on another person’s phone call. If you have something to share, you then raise your hand and the moderator of the room will either allow or deny you to speak “on stage”. You can also “quietly leave” and no one will ever know you were there. Weird? Amazing? A little bit of both.
The pros of this App are the networking and connection it brings to the table. You can chat with anyone from all over the world about any topic you wish. Or listen in to their conversations if you’re more the quiet type. The biggest reason this App has received so much clout recently is because of who joined last week (hint: the richest man in the world). That’s right. Last week, Elon Musk joined Clubhouse and there’s a chance you could be in the same “virtual” room with him.
With the pandemic still limiting social interaction, Clubhouse is another way to bring us all together. People crave social communication. Even just having the audio of Clubhouse playing in the background could be interesting (or maybe even comforting) for someone living alone during quarantine. If you’re really feeling the need to chat, you can even create a virtual room yourself. Who will join? Who knows. That’s a chance you’ll have to take.
There are a few cons of this App as well. The first being….invite only. This option makes current users feel “elite” and “exclusive”, but also leaves others with no invite feeling less than important. Another con could be the audio you’re listening to. Yes, this App allows professionals from around the world to connect and discuss great ideas, but what about the “not so great ideas”? There isn’t a screening protocol to pass in order to host a room and become a live speaker on Clubhouse. This opens the door from some pretty controversial conversations, conspiracy theories, and/or misinformation being shared.
As this App continues to gain users and popularity, it’s also gained the attention of the technology promised land, Silicon Valley. Clubhouse was reported to have a current valuation of $1 billion (hello next big thing). The extremely high valuation of this platform just further increases its exclusivity...and we all know that people want what they can’t have.
The irony of this all is actually the technology itself though. With Clubhouse being the next “big thing” and almost coined as “unicorn status” in the venture capital world, the surprising factor is that it’s only available on iOS. Android users can’t be invited to the club even if they wanted to be. It also isn’t recommended to be used on an iPad, and the website is basically nonexistent. So why the hype?
Contrary to popular belief, this App was not “just” launched. Clubhouse was created in March 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Why we’re just hearing about it now goes back to the exclusivity. In the beginning, Clubhouse hosted an extremely small community, mainly comprised of venture capitalists. The list of impressive users still continues to grow though, with Oprah joining Clubhouse, along with Mark Zuckerberg and the Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey.
If you’re one of the select few and score an invite to Clubhouse….how do you know what rooms to go into? Where do all the “cool kids” hang out? Well, there is also a calendar feature on the App. This allows you or other moderators to create events on certain topics. You can view the calendar, find a chat that’s interesting to you, and set yourself a reminder to listen in when the time is right. This is important to remember because the chats that happen behind closed doors are not recorded. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Clubhouse can be downloaded via the App Store, but we can’t guarantee you access. If we get the secret password, we’ll let you know.
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