Clubhouse : the new VIP social network

Founded in April 2020 by two Silicon Valley regulars, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, Clubhouse is a voice-only app. In just a few weeks, this app has grown from a few thousand users to over 1.5 million today. Mainly used in the northern United States, Clubhouse is starting to make itself known in Europe.

What is Clubhouse? 

Comparable to an interactive podcast audio where everyone can leave their opinion, Clubhouse is a social network that is organized in the form of discussion rooms called “Rooms”. On this social network, there are no posts, no messages, no photos, no videos, no hashtags. It is impossible to communicate in writing, only by audio messages.

Clubhouse is based on a system of live audio conversations only. If you don’t participate in this discussion when it takes place, you will never have access to it again and you won’t know what the content was. The fact that the content is not recordable gives Clubhouse a unique and novel feel. The application creates the feeling of “fear of missing out”, the fear of missing an important conversation.


What are the topics of conversation? 

All subjects are possible: you can exchange views about your hobbies, your professional activity, current events, and create any type of debate. 


So, what’s different about Clubhouse? 

For the moment, access is only possible by sponsoring a user who is already registered. Each new user receives two invitations to be distributed to their friends and family. These invitations are made only by phone number. The Clubhouse application is currently exclusive to iOS and is not available on any other medium. In January 2021, the developers announced that they would “soon” begin the development of an application for Android. This is not expected to be released for several months yet.

Clubhouse is compared to a VIP dinner, which is the reason for its buzz. The strong growth of this application is due to its use by some North American opinion leaders. Drake and Meek Mill have commented on beats being composed. You may be able to chat with Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg or debate with Bill Gates about his preference for Android over iPhone.

The queuing system that created the hype for this application allows for controlled growth since developers do not have the infrastructure to support the arrival of hundreds of thousands or even millions of users at once. This organic growth means that the servers are not overloaded. 

Please note: it is possible to start creating your account even without having received an invitation. You won’t be able to access the chat rooms, but this will secure your username for the future.


How does ClubHousework? 

Clubhouse app audio

Once you have received an invitation, you download the application and create your account. Then, you will be asked to subscribe to your friends and select topics of discussion that interest you, so that the algorithm can make recommendations. You can then create a public or private chat room or join one.

When you join a chat room, you become part of the public, the audience. It is not possible to speak directly, only the administrators or moderators of the room can grant this right. A button allows you to “raise your hand” and ask to speak. Once your request is accepted, you can participate in the exchange. Otherwise, the only possible action is to invite your contacts to join the room. Each room is limited to 5,000 people.

Many users are attracted to the freedom of speech in this new space, which is becoming a place of choice for debates on free speech and politics.

But beware, Clubhouse prioritizes the quality and security of its network. If you make inappropriate comments on the platform, you will lose access to your account and the person you invited or your sponsor will also risk losing it. However, according to critics, the platform still has a lot of work to do on the moderation of chat rooms. Some rooms spread misinformation, conspiracy theories, and hate speech towards certain communities. As we told you earlier, conversations are not recorded and audio messages are deleted when the room closes, which makes it difficult to report detractors.

Now that you know everything about how to use Clubhouse, all you have to do is wait to receive an invitation or search your network to find someone who can provide you with one. Some people even sell their invitations on the internet. For the moment, the developers have not said whether it will be easier to access the application going forward, or whether it will be possible to invite more than two people.

Alice Fouques
Alice Fouques

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