First it was Snapchat, then TikTok. Now anyone who’s anyone in the social media world [so, all of us!] are talking about Clubhouse, an audio only app that combines the intellectualism of TED talks with the intimacy of your favourite podcast, and the guilty pleasure of reality TV. Let me in!
Straight out of Silicon Valley, Clubhouse is as forward thinking and exclusive as you might imagine. An invite only service - you need to know someone who knows someone, if you catch the drift - the app is attracting attention in all corners of the globe. Largely based in the States, the app has attracted a high profile elite, from Elon Musk to Oprah Winfrey, John Mayor to Virgil Abloh. Once in, users can join anything from ad-hoc discussions to pre-scheduled debates. You can either stay on mute or ‘raise your hand’, hopefully catching the attention of the room’s moderator who will grant you access to offer your two cents.
Users can enter into different rooms of their choice, to listen or participate in a conversation. You’ll be able to see who else is in the room, plus view their profiles. Given it’s infancy and exclusivity, joining at this stage means you may well find yourself in a chat room with a top celeb - so remember to play it cool…
Most positively, it feels that unlike competitor social apps, the focus is on dialogue, learning and connection, rather than likes, shares or followers. At TLA we love Instagram, but the sheer volume of content that is heavily focused on aesthetics can leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. To boot, there is no record function on any of the chat spaces, so conversations remain timely, secluded and - most importantly - respectful of privacy.
We love the sound of a platform that’s audio-led, and it’ll be interesting to see how something with no visual aids fares in a world of constant images, videos, reels and stories. The app also appeals to our nosey side - who wouldn’t want to listen to an audition for broadway’s next musical, or sit in on a thoughtful chat on cryptocurrency?
In the current environment, being part of a ‘club’ that is accessible from the comfort of your home sounds like something to be coveted. Whilst the world is stuck indoors - it will certainly add spice to the current offering of Zoom chats and book clubs. The only down-side is that it’s currently only available on iPhone [not Android] and that the chats are mostly set in US time zones. But as the crowd inevitably expands, we’re confident it won’t be long before that changes!