Clubhouse App: What is it?

Sunday, February 28, 2021

For those that are up to date with the very latest events in the tech industry, you will have quite likely heard of Clubhouse. However, for a lot of other people, this news might have slipped under the radar as it was breaking and are only just hearing about it now.

This article will go into detail about what the Clubhouse app is, and how people are using it. So if you would like to find out more about the Clubhouse app, read on below.

Clubhouse App: What is it?

The idea of Clubhouse is both new and also a reworking of lots of apps that people already use. Clubhouse is a social networking app that sits somewhere between a podcast, conference call, radio, Houseparty, and private members club.

A user is able to listen to discussions, interviews and talks between people of interest, on a range of subjects. In a way, it is like putting on a podcast, except there is one key difference. You have to be invited to join Clubhouse.

As the name suggests, this is the digital equivalent of a real world members club. To join the app, a person who is already a member must invite you. You are able to download the app from the App store, however, you cannot sign up without an invite.

When people are taking part in an event, they will have joined a ‘conversation room’. This functions very similarly to a conference call. There will be a couple people, or a small group having a conversation, and most of the other people within the room will be listening to the conversation. When the conversation is finished, the room gets closed. This takes a slightly different approach to other live interactive websites, such as Twitch. Whereas Twitch records live streamed videos for people to return back to, the audio from conversation rooms disappears once the room is closed. 

The app is still relatively new, with it being launched in March 2020 by Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth, two entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley. Within two months the app had only 1,500 users, but was worth $100m. Towards the start of its launch it gained popularity with a group that was mainly composed of venture capitalists, which might partly explain how it got such a high valuation after two months of being launched.

How can you get invited to Clubhouse?

As mentioned above, you have to be invited by a person who is already a member of Clubhouse. They send an invite from their logged in app, which will give you access to set up an account. If you are sent an invitation, a text will be sent to your phone with a link, when you click on it, you will be taken to a sign in page.

A catch to this situation is that Clubhouse users only have two invites they can give out after they have signed up. Once they have used the app more, further invites are available.

Alongside this, for people who are on Android, you will have to wait to get a version of the app that is suitable to your hardware. The developers are looking to scale up slowly, beginning with iOS and moving into Android slowly. Eventually, the plan is to make Clubhouse available to everybody.

What can you listen to on Clubhouse?

On signup, you will be able to choose from a range of topics including business, health, sports and tech. The more detail you go into about your interests, more conversation rooms will be suggested to you. On each topic, you will be able to see other people who are also interested, and you can follow their activity.

The format of a conversation depends on the room that you are in. Everyone there is taking part on their phones, so it has the feel of a conference call as you can’t see each other. The conversations aren’t edited, no sound effects are inputted, and there is no official advertising. The way a conversation unfolds is really quite flexible depending on who is in the room. For instance, there could be a casual chat between two or three people, or an interview talk show style, or a wider group discussion on a topic. If a particularly interesting person enters the room, the moderator has the option of putting them on the stage as a speaker.

Despite its relative infancy, Clubhouse is proving to be very popular. Perhaps the exclusivity has an appeal to people, making them desire to be a part of it more. Perhaps the content and conversations within the rooms are of an exceptional quality. More than likely it’s a combination of factors. As we move forward and the app becomes available to more and more people, it looks very likely that we’ll be hearing a lot more from Clubhouse.