Not so long ago, I got a rather strange screenshot from one of my friends featuring a new app. “Which app is this?” I asked, wondering if it was new among us. Turns out, it was much more than that. “It’s Clubhouse,” she said, “kinda like a social media app but without the media and more like Linkedin”. Intrigued, I immediately went to the app store and downloaded it- only to find out that I needed an invite to join. The FOMO hit at once- as it did for millions around the world.
So what is Clubhouse?
Imagine a conference call, house-party, and radio- all in one. Clubhouse is an audio-only social networking app where users can host and join various conversations. What’s exciting about this new app is that there are absolutely no pictures, no videos, barely any text- it’s purely audio. Users can join in conversations between pioneers in a certain field and have conversations with people having similar interests as them. It’s basically like tuning into a podcast except it’s streamed live. On Clubhouse, nothing can be saved or replayed so if you leave, you’ve missed out – adding another layer of exclusivity.
How do you get invited?
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Invitations are so rare that they’re even appearing for sale on eBay.
Step one: Have an iPhone. Although the developers are working on preparing an Android version of the app, currently it is accessible to iPhone users only. Next, to actually join the app you need to be invited by an existing user who sends you an invite link to your phone number which directs you to the sign-up page. However, here’s where the exclusivity begins – each user has a maximum of 2 invites, making access to the app limited. In fact, invitations are so rare that they’re even appearing for sale on eBay. In a recent blog post however, the creators of the app have declared that they wish to open up Clubhouse to the whole world, so if you haven’t been invited yet, there’s no need to worry.
Why haven’t I heard about this before?
Well although Clubhouse was launched in March 2020 amidst the pandemic, the main reason it stayed lowkey was because of its invite-only exclusivity. Because only a very few users were active in the early days, the app mainly consisted of a community of venture capitalists. An interesting thing to note however is that when the app had just 1500 users it was worth 100 million dollars.
So is clubhouse a dating app?
If you’re all for flirting with strangers by just hearing the sound of their voice – sure. But Clubhouse isn’t a dating app and is for a more professional set of users to have meaningful informative conversations and network rather than link up with people like on Tinder. A pro however is that Clubhouse has a feature to lock rooms so in case you want to have a personal conversation to get to know someone, that’s definitely possible. On a side note though, Clubhouse has indeed led to successful relationships for people who were too shy to get a dating app so don’t close your doors.
How is Elon Musk involved again?
The Tesla and SpaceX founder recently joined clubhouse and created his very own room with over 5000 people in it – breaking all of clubhouse’s previously room member records. Musk spoke about him being a pro-vaxxer, his autonomous vehicle, and Robinhood financial that helps process stocks and trade that in fact recently hit number one on the app store and almost number one on the google play store. Fans were excited to get the inside scoop from Musk himself, so if you feel like you’re missing out, hop onto Clubhouse ASAP.
The future of Clubhouse
Although as of now the new buzz of silicon valley is yet to face serious competition, Twitter has been working on a new feature called Spaces. The feature, similar to Clubhouse is only available to a handful of beta users and although it hasn’t reached Clubhouse’s level of publicity, Twitter could potentially attract a greater audience since it already has considerably more users. Additionally, if public icons like Musk begin using this feature, there’s no doubt that Clubhouse will face some real competition. However, as of now, everyone is just on the run to get their invite and we just need to wait and watch to see what happens once Clubhouse loses its exclusivity.
Edited by: Younes Skalli