The best way to describe Clubhouse is that it’s an app that allows you to listen in on other people’s live conversations. The people you’re listening in to have given their consent, and in many cases they may be well-known figures or thought leaders in their particular area. Hence the value in listening in to their discussion.
The key is that it’s live – and you may also have the opportunity to join in.
So let’s look at Clubhouse in more detail.
What is Clubhouse?
While it does have similarities to live radio where you can call in, Clubhouse is essentially a social networking app. Using it means you can listen in to conversations and interviews with interesting people on a variety topics. While podcasts offer some of this, Clubhouse is live and has a level of exclusivity to it.
Why? Because Clubhouse is invite only. When you join, you can select your interests (whether it’s tech or health or a wide variety of other topics) that you’re most interested in. The more detail you can give, the more options that Clubhouse will find for you.
Once the discussion is finished, the room closes. So unlike podcasts, there is no on-demand capability. Once it’s over, it’s over.
How does Clubhouse work?
The app itself is fairly straight-forward. You can create or join a room, but you can’t share pictures or video. It’s strictly for talking only. You are able to join (or leave) a particular room whenever you want. When you log on, you are able to see a list of rooms, plus you can see who is actually in each of those rooms.
The next step is you simply select the room you want to join. Once in, if you want to ask a question or contribute then you need to ‘raise your hand’ and the hosts may invite you to contribute. While many rooms are led by well-known figures, you can create a room or rooms yourself.
Advantages of Clubhouse
So let’s look at some of the unique advantages of Clubhouse.
- It’s interactive: It’s like being at a conference where the talk is live and those attending can interact and the discussion is unfiltered. If you’re a participant, you can ‘raise your hand’ and ask a question. If you’re hosting, you’re able to talk to your guest speakers and co-hosts – or if you want you can invite anyone among those listening to make a comment. When the rooms are small, it gives a kind of intimacy. You feel that you’re part of a group that is having meaningful discussions about subjects interesting to you.
- Opportunities to network: These chat rooms cover a huge variety of topics but they are also a place where you can make great connections with others who share your interests. The rooms cover so many areas that if you looking for help, it’s possible you can find someone who has the skills or know-how you’re looking for.
- Subject matter experts: The app provides access to specialists who you might not normally be able to reach. It’s possible with Clubhouse that you find yourself in a room with some high profile business leader who is sharing their expertise – essentially giving you a class. While you many not necessarily be able to ask questions (although it’s possible) having that kind of access to experts, particularly when you focus on areas important to your business, could prove very valuable.
It’s worth noting a couple of other key points: as the app becomes more popular it’s likely going to become more difficult to find chat rooms which are worth your time. It’s going to become diluted. Or to put it another way, it may take up more of your time while you hop in and out of rooms in the hope of finding something that is genuinely useful to you.
How do I get a Clubhouse invite?
The first issue with joining Clubhouse is that it’s only available on iPhone. Supposedly work is being done to make it available for Android users but it’s not clear if or when it will be ready. At the start of this year, Clubhouse did update on their commitment to Android, but there is still no firm date on when it will be live. This means that competitors will launch (and indeed have already launched) similar apps which work on Android.
So providing you have an iPhone, the next step is to get a Clubhouse invite. Unlike Instagram or Twitter where you simply sign up, with Clubhouse it’s a little more exclusive. Only existing users can invite new members – and those existing members can only hand out a total of two invites. So you really need to know someone who is already on Clubhouse in order to join.
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