You may have heard of a little app called Clubhouse in the past few weeks, especially if you're an avid Twitter user. But what exactly is it?
The exclusive new audio-based app has taken over social media in recent months as the hottest new platform for networking and interacting with like-minded peers. The first of its kind, it has already drawn in thousands of users, including some famous names, despite still being in its beta stage.
Clubhouse was first launched back in March during the height of the pandemic. It works on an invite-only basis at the moment, meaning only those who have been invited by a pre-existing user can get on the app. However, this is allegedly set to change soon with the founders currently working on a wider launch for the general public. Before that happens, here's everything you need to know about the platform, from how to join and how it works to what to expect when you're in.
Who are the Clubhouse app creators?
Clubhouse was created by Silicon Valley professionals Paul Davison and Rohan Seth and funded by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, who poured $12 million into it.
How does Clubhouse app work?
Clubhouse is an audio-based app where users can participate in different chat rooms with a wide range of topics. These rooms are audio only and disappear forever once the chat has finished.
In each room, you'll find speakers, listeners and moderators. The moderator is the person who started the chat and has the power to give a moderator badge to anyone else of their choice. They are also the only ones who can invite those who enter as listeners (known amongst users as those in the audience) to become speakers in the chat.
Any user can start their own room and select whether they want it to be private or open to all users on the app. You can then ping in your followers, who can ping in their followers and a small group chat of five can quickly turn into a room with hundreds.
One of the best things about the app, aside from the conversations (we'll get to them later) is that unlike other social media apps like Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, you don't have to be staring at your screen whilst using it. Just like a call, you can have it on whilst doing other things, especially if you're in a room as a listener rather than a speaker.
But it is similar to other apps in the sense that you have a profile with a bio and a followers/following count. The rooms that show up in your hallway (which is the Clubhouse equivalent to your Twitter timeline or Instagram homepage) are determined by the people you follow which means the first few rooms you'l see are the ones people you are following are currently in. However, the further down you scroll the more rooms are displayed, all of which have been picked by an algorithm that considers your interests based on the types rooms you've previously participated in. There's also an overall calendar that shows all the rooms that have been scheduled for the day.
How to get a Clubhouse app invite
At the moment, Clubhouse is in its beta stage which means it is not yet open to the general public. That means the only way you can get on the app is if you receive an invite by someone who is already a user.
Every new user gets one invite that they can give to a contact of their choice. Once you've used up your invite, the next time you receive an invite depends on how much of an active user you've been on the app. For instance, someone who starts their own room as moderator or is a frequent speaker in the rooms they enter is more likely to be granted an invite to give out as opposed to someone who isn't as active on the app or doesn't engage with it as much. However, right now, there aren't any set rules and invites are given to users sporadically.
Another thing note is that Clubhouse is available for iPhone users only and can be downloaded via the App Store.
Is Clubhouse available for Android?
Unfortunately Clubhouse is currently only available to those who have an iPhone. There has been no mention of the app branching out to Android users yet but perhaps that'll change if it goes public.
What can I expect on the Clubhouse app?
There are a number of things you can expect from Clubhouse, the first being that it is super addictive. If you thought you were hooked on Instagram and Twitter then you haven't seen anything yet.
The most amazing thing about Clubhouse is how directly interactive it is, be it for networking or simply making new friends. No matter what you're interested in, there'll be a room for it where people who share similar interests or careers come together to discuss their experiences, give advice to one another and even cement business partnerships or collaborations.
You'll find everyone from major music execs like Scooter Braun (the man behind the successes of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande) and Parkwood Entertainment president Steve Pamon sharing their knowledge about the industry and connecting with aspiring music moguls, to comedian Tiffany Haddish dishing out dating advice to hundreds of users or discussing the future of Africa with its diaspora.
There are rooms about how to become a CEO, how to start your own business or even how to get into the tech world, all hosted by people who have extensive careers in each field. Then there are rooms about astrology, dating and relationships, sports or mindfulness rooms encouraging affirmations and self love. The list is endless!
So far, the app is mostly made up of professionals in tech, business and the music industry as well as young creatives, athletes, journalists and celebrities including the likes of Tyrese, Meek Mill, Aston Kutcher, Oprah and Chris Rock.
In fact, Kevin Hart once surprised users by entering a chat room entitled "Is Kevin Hart funny?" where a small group were discussing the comedian's latest Netflix stand up special. The room quickly became one of the biggest ever seen on the app so far, with thousands joining to listen in on what turned into a Q&A with Kevin. The room became a huge talking point on Twitter as it took a controversial turn after Kevin was questioned about a joke he had made about his 15 year old daughter and other men in the room were accused of gaslighting the women.
If there's one thing to know about Clubhouse, it's that it is utterly unpredictable. You can start a room with one person and end up leaving it with 30 new contacts or new friendships. Rumour has it some have even found relationships on the app, with regular "shoot your shot" rooms hosted in the late hours of the night. There's never a dull moment!
How to make a club on the Clubhouse app
If you want to make your own club on the Clubhouse, then the first thing you have to do is host your own weekly show on the app for three consecutive weeks. This means starting and moderating a room with the same title once a week for three weeks. This will then qualify you to request a club via a form provided on the Clubhouse website and you'll then have to wait for it to get approved. At the moment, they're only allowing one club per user. However, you can join as many clubs on the app as you want as a member.
According to the website, creators are planning on launching a self-serve clubs feature built in the app, allowing users to set up a club instantly.