What the heck is a clubhouse?!
Clubhouse - the new app on the social media block.
Clubhouse is all the rage right now, and getting into the ‘club’ is more sought after than a “Rachel from Friends” haircut back in the 90s.
This invite-only social audio app — currently for iOS only*, lets users conduct real-time conversations or eavesdrop on others — is suddenly everywhere.
Okay, So What Is Clubhouse?
Here’s the gist: Imagine you have an app on your phone that allows you to listen in on other people’s real-time chats (“Party Line” throwback anyone?) But it’s not done in a creepy way; these people want to be heard. The conversations can be with famous people, or they may be interesting or very knowledgeable (there’s no guarantee, however). You may also be given a chance to join in on the chat.
It’s easiest to describe as an audio-chat social network.
You Can’t Sit With Us! (Clubhouse is currently invite-only)
We know digital marketing can be tricky.
Keeping up with trends and best practices often means exploring guides filled with tips and tricks, and then who has any time left to try and understand all the new apps, too?
Answer: we do! So let’s get right into it.
If you have been lucky enough to get an invite code you will quickly discover the simplicity. There are no posts, no pictures, no videos. The home screen is a white-on-beige endless scroll of conference calls, called “rooms,” filled with random people, organized by, quite literally, whatever is on their minds. And even though the number of users is being tightly controlled by the company, it might not be long before anyone can join. Existing users are able to invite friends, and invitations are going for as much as $97 a pop on Ebay.
*Android users are still (patiently) waiting for their version to hit app shelves.
Common Questions About Clubhouse
When Did Clubhouse Start?
Clubhouse was launched back in March 2020.
How Many People Are In The Clubhouse At Once?
The current limit is 5,000 people per Clubhouse room.
Be aware: some users have taken to live-streaming conversations on YouTube, which is a clever workaround for making a record of what’s being said.
So Wait, Is Clubhouse A Glorified Podcast?
Not quite —all the people involved are talking via their iPhones. They don’t see each other, so it’s more like listening in on a phone call. There’s no professional editing, no sound effects, no transitions, and no advertising (at least not officially). That said, the “style” of the conversation is flexible: one room might be a casual one-on-one between friends, while another is a more formal talk-show-style interview, a big group discussion, or even a music-sharing session. If someone interesting drops into a room—like say, a well-known billionaire—the room creator/moderator can put them on the “stage” as a speaker.
Who Runs Clubhouse?
The app was started by Paul Davison, an entrepreneur who’d previously sold a company to Pinterest, and Rohan Seth, a former Google engineer, as a way to get people talking and trading ideas spontaneously, without having to put on a suit.
Now – meet Agora, the company powering Clubhouse
Agora states that it makes tools for ‘real-time engagement’. Founded in 2012, the company offers APIs (application programming interfaces) for real-time voice and audio features in only a few lines of code.
It went public last summer with the very relevant ticker $API.
According to investor Justin Caldbeck, Clubhouse was built in 1 week on Agora (Clubhouse does not speak publicly about its tech stack, but a recent Bloomberg article highlights that the connection does exist).
In recent months, Clubhouse has grown to 6m+ users, and the appearance by Elon Musk during the GameStop/Robinhood controversy didn’t hurt, either.
Of note, Agora is based in Shanghai — and some observers have raised questions about Clubhouse’s vulnerability to government surveillance. The app has already been blocked in China.
Here in North America, however, the hype machine rages on.
Who’s Really Going To Use Clubhouse?
Right now, Clubhouse is for people who like to talk and miss having an audience, and for connecting with the world in a unique way.
Clearly, it’s catching on. Some users report spending four to five hours a day on Clubhouse Rooms can sometimes feel like TED Talks or morning radio shows, without the filter or hesitancy that might come from hosts who have corporate sponsors to please. Bonus: it can open the doors to (unexpected) collaborations!
Ultimately, whether you’ve been in rooms already, awaiting an invite, or hesitant to even check it out – it will continue to grow, and after all the challenges in the marketing world this past year, it just may become the next big place where we ALL (individual, teams, business, corporations) will be hanging out.
Come on in; everyone is welcome!