Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll probably have heard of Clubhouse - the latest social media app that’s taken over the internet, one exclusive invite at a time.
Despite being banned in several countries already, Clubhouse is making (sound) waves around the world following glowing endorsements from celebrity heavyweights like Oprah, Elon Musk and Ashton Kutcher. And, as of March 2021, it boasts over 10 million users, most of which were added between January and February 2021.
But, what actually is it? And how does it work? Read on for the lowdown, including my top tips for making the most of the app.
What is the Clubhouse App?
An iPhone only social media app (sorry Android users!), Clubhouse was launched in November 2020 and is described as ‘a place for casual, drop-in audio chats’.
Think of it like listening in on someone else’s conference or phone call, only legally.
An audio-only social network, Clubhouse features a distinct lack of imagery – the only photos across the whole app are profile images. When using the app you’re encouraged to explore a range of different conversations and topics called ‘rooms’ and meet people from around the world.
Who is Clubhouse for?
The official guide states:
“We are building Clubhouse for everyone and working to open it up to the world as fast as possible. We just want to make sure that as we scale, it’s a great experience for everyone, so we’re adding new users in waves”
So, essentially everyone who wants to learn, grow or connect. But, there are still some limitations. As mentioned, the app is only available to iPhone users so far, with no concrete date for the Android launch yet, which already excludes a huge number of the population.
I’ve spent far too many hours on the app already and I’d definitely make note of the ‘LinkedIn vibe’ – influencers, entrepreneurs and business professionals sharing their top tips and networking. Similarly, as the concept does take a bit of getting used to, if you’re not one for sifting through loads of content or if listening to people talking isn’t your thing, I’d stay clear.
Do you have to talk on Clubhouse?
If you’re an introvert, don’t panic – you definitely don’t have to ever unmute yourself (the default in-app mode is mute). You can simply listen to others and take everything in.
Is it for brands and businesses?
While the app was made with people in mind, there are several businesses and brands that have already jumped on the trend and set up their own clubs:
- TechCrunch was one of the first businesses to set up their own club, which connects customers with staff to chat all things tech
- The Financial Times also have their own club, in which their journalists chat weekly on the biggest news stories of the moment
Have you nabbed yourself an invite, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are the basics:
When you log in, you’ll see the above bar at the top of your screen. This is the menu. From left to right:
- The explore function, to search for users, keywords or rooms
- Invite your friends
- The calendar, where you can view upcoming events
- Your notifications
- Your profile
Each user has their own profile, followers and followings, much like Twitter and Instagram but, when opening the app, you’re presented with “rooms” full of people talking about thousands of different topics.
Twitter has tweets, Instagram has Reels, and Clubhouse has Rooms. There are so many topics and rooms available for you to jump into and they’re shown to you based on the ‘room algorithm’. This is Clubhouse’s way of showing you users and topics you’ll find most interesting based on what you engage with and your settings and preferences.
When you tap to enter a room, you’ll instantly hear the audio (if the chat has begun) and will see the ‘stage’ along with who else is listening. At the bottom, there are several actions you can take such as leaving quietly or putting your hand up to speak.
Here’s what makes Clubhouse interesting
There are SO MANY topics
If you want to talk about, or listen to, a specific topic, chances are someone’s covering it.
It’s super transparent
On Clubhouse, there are no DMs or text messages: instead, conversations are always open. The rooms themselves are also open, meaning it’s simple to pop in and out, exploring a wide range of conversations.
The conversations aren’t permanent
Similarly, nothing on the app can be recorded, which leads to much more open and honest conversations.
It only works in ‘real-time’
Unlike other social media giants like Instagram and Twitter, Clubhouse doesn’t have an ‘always on’ approach. Instead, conversations happen in real-time, making for a much closer and more personalised experience.
How to use Clubhouse: a step-by-step guide
- Find an elusive invite: first, you’ll need to actually find an invite. I got mine from our Head of Creative, Alun, and I will now be forever in his debt/making his coffee for the next 10 years when we get back to the office.
- Download the App: currently, Clubhouse is only available to iPhone users, and so you’ll just need to pop into the app store and download it.
- Choose your topics: select from a huge range of topics – from current affairs to wellbeing, beauty to marketing – to find what’s interesting to you
- Follow: follow your favourite voices or find people talking about the topics you’re passionate about
- Optimise your profile: make full use of your bio to share why you’re using Clubhouse – is it to grow your knowledge? Share your expertise? Gain leads?
Looking for more information on how to use Clubhouse? Visit the official guide now.
Our top tips for new Clubhouse users
- The more people you follow, the better your suggestions will be: the app will curate the rooms you see based on who you follow and so make sure you’re following those who fit your interests
- Turn off trending rooms: to avoid getting spammed with notifications that aren’t relevant, head into your settings and turn this off, instead, selecting your interests to see more relevant content
- The first 2 lines of your bio are the most important: without clicking ‘view full profile’ when someone clicks on your name, they’ll only see the first 2 lines, or 80 characters, of your bio. Don’t forget, however, that all the words in your bio are searchable keywords, so make sure what you’re talking about is relevant to what you’re hoping to achieve
- Don’t forget to add your Instagram and Twitter: this will help people to connect with you across all of your social platforms
- Be inclusive and respectful: the nature of Clubhouse allows for more intimate and deeper conversations, and so remember to be respectful of everyone’s diverse views
- Understand the jargon: from PTR (Pull To Refresh) to Hallway, make sure you’re up to date with the Clubhouse lingo before you get started
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