Lately, you might have heard a lot about Clubhouse. Thanks to the tech industry leaders like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, popular names like Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey who supported it, Clubhouse has gained massive popularity. Last month, the Clubhouse Android app was launched in India and around the world, and it has reached millions of downloads on the Google Play Store.
In the age where we have Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ruling the social media ecosystem, are you wondering what good Clubhouse is? It is just for fun or fruitful? Well, the answer is complex, and you can make your decision by the end of this article.
What is Clubhouse App?
Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app that was launched in March 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. According to the company, Clubhouse is “a new type of social product based on voice [that] allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world.”
It differentiates itself by focusing only on voice and does not support text messages, video chats or audio recording. Plus, you can’t post any images other than using a profile pic. Furthermore, it is an invite-only app that means you can join once you receive an invitation from an existing user on the app. So, you can’t just download the app and get access. However, you can join the waiting list on the app by downloading it.
How Clubhouse Works?
In the Clubhouse app, you can find virtual rooms with a wide range of topics like sports, technology, world affairs, music, movies etc. which are live. There are mainly three types of chat rooms:
- Private Chat Rooms – Where only participants are enabled to add people to the room
- Semi-open Chat Rooms – Where participants who follow each other or the admin of the group can add guests and fans
- Open Chat Rooms – Where all are welcome to join the room for a conversation. Rooms can host up to 5,000 people as of now.
You can scroll through and enter the rooms you are interested in and engage with the participants. You can listen and lurk around the rooms without restrictions. When you have something to say, just tap a button which shows raising a hand. Once the moderator or admin allows you, it’s your turn to talk.
Clubhouse is essentially like a live podcast or panel discussion without any sophisticated audio setup or sound effects. All participants only use their phones to speak and listen. Some of the pros include:
1) The app has a minimalist design with a user-friendly interface. The enter and exit features and engagement options are easy.
2) You can meet some of the biggest celebrities, popular names and like-minded people in the app. It opens the door for networking opportunities. The app recommends rooms according to your interestsso that you can find high-quality content. Find anything from how to start a company, real estate advice to influencer marketing and love relationships.
3) Private rooms provide a great way to engage with your friends, especially during the pandemic. The conversation also resembles the feel of a club where you can talk about anything of your interest with anyone. Also, unlike typical conferences via zoom or talk shows in general, the audience can freely and easily interact with guest speakers.
The invite-only model was introduced to help build a healthy community of users and keep the content quality up. It was one of the positive reasons for its popularity. However, Clubhouse had its share of controversies which are mentioned in the cons.
1) Clubhouse app received negative attention due to several reasons such as harassment, questionable content and misinformation. The company has since instituted community moderation guidelines, the success of which can be gauged only in the future.
2) The service suffered a data breach which put it in a bad light. There are privacy concerns as well, which are being addressed by the company.
3) Since there is no option for video or voice recordings, you will miss the conversations forever if you miss the event.
Now that you know all about Clubhouse, you can decide whether it is only about fun or there are a lot of opportunities with the voice-based app. It is hard to ignore the rising popularity and growth of the app. However, only time will tell if it will sustain. Also, given the fact that there are many competitors readying to roll out apps similar to Clubhouse, only users will determine its future.
The article is authored by Mayank Vora, Nirav Gosalia, and Harish Patel – LogicLoop.