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16 March 2021 - Reading time: 6 minutes

What should I know about the new Clubhouse application?

Habefast Blog Clubhouse Application

In recent weeks, the new Clubhouse application has been the talk of the town. Do you want to understand why there is such a buzz around this application and what makes it so special among the social networking giants? Find out everything you need to know about this application in this article.

What is a clubhouse?

  • The creation of Clubhouse and its news

    Clubhouse was launched in March 2020 by its creators, both Standford graduates: Paul Davison (creator of the Highlight app, which connected users with converging interests and was discontinued in 2016) and Rohan Seth (a former engineer at Google).

    Initially reserved for a select group of important people within Silicon Valley, the creators decided to open it up to a wider audience with a beta version available only on iPhone. This is part of the creators’ strategy to develop the community little by little in order to acquire data and feedback from the first users and improve the application as time goes by. This way, they can monitor the growth of the community and make adjustments within the company, since it is known that exponential growth can cause the decline of start-ups.

    Today Clubhouse has over 1 million members and has been valued at nearly $1 billion. However, it is in danger of losing users, as it was recently banned in China due to political conversations, among other things.

    Many celebrities have been heard in the platform’s rooms which has put it under the spotlight worldwide. Among these people, there is Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, who inspires many people and whose statements are highly anticipated. The famous American journalist Opra Winfrey or the actor Jared Leto have also participated in discussions on the app.

  • The Clubhouse concept

    The social network is based solely on audio and speech, so it is impossible to exchange photos, videos, text or messages on the platform. Clubhouse allows you to host or join discussion clubs, called “rooms” that can be similar to conferences classified according to different themes such as technology, art, music, politics or sports.

    The application is in the same line as podcasts, which are very popular today and are also based on the audio experience. For the creators, offering something based solely on voice makes the experience very special. This allows you to really focus on what is being said, you don’t need to make eye contact, which allows you to participate in the conversation under any conditions. This audio experience also allows you to capture the intonations, tones and emotions of the users in order to have a more human feeling.

    The application allows for unique contact and relationships compared to all other current networks, which is also especially valuable in these times of pandemic. Also, the lack of empathy of other networks is relatively contained on this one since the voice brings a certain proximity between users.

  • How Clubhouse works

    The way it works is simple, in order to have ClubHouse, you have to be sponsored (co-opted or waitlisted). So when you create an account, you need to be added to the network by someone who is already part of the community. Once you have received an invitation to join the social network, you must create a profile.

    To use ClubHouse, you must be over 18 years old. You need to fill in several elements:

    • your phone number
    • your identity: First and last name – ClubHouse asks users to provide their real identity, there is no possibility to provide a pseudonym (except for public figures), however there is no real control over the identity of users on the platform.
    • your biography: on the same principle as on Twitter and Instagram. However, the proposed space has no character limit.

    Then you can add your profile picture and import your contacts from Twitter and add your interests.

    All you have to do is find a club that interests you.

    If you don’t have an invitation, you can always reserve your username by downloading the app and waiting to receive an invitation or to see the evolution of the number of people admitted to the community by the founders. When you are part of the community you can in turn sponsor 2 people. The people you have sponsored will be visible to other members.

    When you join a room, you can listen to the exchanges of the speakers and if you want to take part in the exchanges you must “raise your hand”. All exchanges are done verbally, discussions are live and it is not possible to record them. Each room of the application can contain up to 5,000 participants, the number of participants is set by the chat room moderator and he/she has the possibility to give or withdraw the floor to participants.

    You can also follow personalities or groups called “clubs”.

The reasons for Clubhouse's success

  1. The unique experience

    The originality of relying on voice and sound alone is one of the reasons for its success, users discover a whole new world that is not accessible on any other social network and therefore want to discover and experience it for themselves.

  2. The exclusivity

    The co-optation system makes the application even more desirable because of the exclusivity it implies. The general public wants to be part of the restricted group of people who have access, it gives a sense of belonging, but also of being in the right place at the right time. Moreover, one of the advantages of restricted access is that the person who co-opts another has a kind of responsibility that favors a good selection of people added to the platform and limits the number of trolls or “fakes”.

  3. Lack of anonymity

    On the app theoretically everyone uses their real identity. This is a plus for the user experience, because it creates more real and human links than on other social networks, but it also allows to trust more the speech of the interlocutors since we really know who we are dealing with and what is their level of expertise on certain subjects.

  4. Content that is not recorded

    This allows all users to feel more free, as it is impossible to record discussions on Clubhouse. Moreover, it plays on what is called the FOMO Syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out) which makes users afraid to miss an important or interesting discussion and will therefore be very present on the application.

Clubhouse network reviews

  1. No audio moderation

    For the moment there is no moderation of the content proposed on the platform, which is explained by the fact that there are no keywords to ban. But the founders are aware that they have to work on this point and find solutions to control what is said and not to let problematic words circulate. On this point, although users cannot record conversations, they are all saved in the company’s servers, which allows them to keep track of exchanges.

  2. Co-option system

    The sponsorship system is questioned by some people, as they believe that this system is unfair and only allows a certain type of person to have access to the social network. Also, on the other hand, the argument of preventing trolls thanks to the system can also be questioned since nowadays on Twitter there are people who offer invitations to anyone.

  3. The predominance of English

    Another point of criticism of the social network is the fact that English is the predominant language of the application. For the moment it is only available in English, but they are working to offer other languages. The available content is mostly in English since most of the users are English-speaking so it limits the accessibility for other people.

  4. Topics covered

    According to the feedback, the majority of the rooms revolve around technology or art, which makes it easy for clubs to become more of a networking place than a place to exchange and exploit the primary goal of social networking. So there are some negative opinions on this subject.

With its innovative concept and unique user experience, the Clubhouse application has quickly made a name for itself. However, criticism of the app may leave some doubting its long-term growth and longevity. The application may be benefiting from a fad, so it will be interesting to see how the founders manage this growth and whether they can sustain it.

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