Photo by Jessica Lewis
Apps/Software Headlines Technology

What You Should Know Before Joining Clubhouse

If you’ve been active on social media the past few months, you may have seen some discussion about “Clubhouse,” the latest pandemic fascination. From business professionals to casual users, everyone has been flooding the app in an attempt to get back the feeling of in-person gatherings and events. Despite being invite-only for the time being, many see it joining the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as go-to platforms for the masses. But, does Clubhouse have what it takes to keep the public’s attention?

What is it?

Clubhouse is an audio-based app where users can enter “rooms” to speak with other like-minded individuals. Part of the draw of the platform is that each room can have its own unique style. Users are given the choice to listen in on more formal panel discussions or they can join a casual bar-style conversation where they can chat to whoever they please. And if a room isn’t holding your attention, no worries, you can leave “quietly” and join another room or even start your own. The Clubhouse founders, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, wanted to give users the freedom to curate their own Clubhouse experience. And for better or worse, they’ve been able to do so. 

The pros

Clubhouse is a powerful networking tool. The app is facilitating those spontaneous connections we’ve been missing and is opening doors to individuals some people would not have interacted with without the platform. Some of the benefits include:

  • There is no need to stress about appearances. As an audio-based app, you’re free to join a room from your couch, desk, or even in the car. So, if you’re suffering from Zoom fatigue, Clubhouse could be a great option for you. 
  • You can join rooms to make business connections, new friends, or maybe learn something new. Whatever it is you may be interested in, Clubhouse gives you the option to explore it. 
  • Clubhouse is also giving you access to high-profile individuals who may have seemed inaccessible in the past. Kevin Hart, Elon Musk, and Drake are some of the celebrities you can currently find on the platform. Just raise your “hand” in one of their rooms and you could have a quick chat with them. 

Celebrities aren’t the only people of interest on Clubhouse either. Clubhouse gives startups and small businesses  access to potential investors. Live pitch events are happening all the time. Find yourself in the right room, you might find yourself on the way to striking a new business deal. 

The cons

Like any new tech project, Clubhouse has a few hiccups. 

  • Clubhouse is currently in beta, therefore, it is only available on iOS and is invite only. Invites are actually in such high demand that some users are selling them on ebay for $125.
  • The app’s safety and privacy regulations are fairly abstract. There are guidelines for rooms, but they aren’t always enforced. Many users have already cited issues of sexist, anti-Semitic and racist behavior. 
  • Misinformation can also spread rapidly on the app. Unlike Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, Clubhouse doesn’t offer any verification for users. Therefore, anyone can be an expert on any subject. 
  • In theory, as soon as a room is closed on Clubhouse the audio should disappear as well. However, there have been reports of security breaches where audio from sessions has been recorded without user consent. 

As more people join, more issues will inevitably arise. But keep in mind, other social media platforms have similar issues all the time. 

In summary

Like most  social media apps, Clubhouse is constantly evolving. The developers are fixing bugs and addressing issues as they arise.  They are also trying to keep up with the astronomical growth we’re seeing here. Further development plans (such as when we will see the addition of Android) are under wraps. 

This means users are looking at other audio-only apps. Competitors are popping up. Twitter just released “Twitter Spaces,” an audio-based discussion function embedded directly into the app and Facebook is said to be developing a similar product as well. 

With more and more  competition emerging, the choice is yours. There are benefits to getting in on an app like Clubhouse on the ground floor. You can reserve your brand’s username, enjoy the exploration stage with other new users and be seen as an early adopter. This can be helpful as long as you’re still following the best social media practices for your brand. Make the best choice for your brand.