Clubhouse: The Future Voice-Only Social Media App
15 Mar 2021
Recently, Clubhouse became one of the most trending apps. If you enjoy listening to talkback radio, podcasts or interactive broadcast programs, the concept of Clubhouse app is no stranger to you.
What is Clubhouse App?
Clubhouse is a social network app that uses audio as a main communication tool between users, but it is currently available on IOS devices and via invite only.
Users can use this application to listen and discuss with other users on various topics and discussions are made virtually such as teleconferencing. As mentioned earlier, this application only uses voice, which means that users cannot show or upload any pictures, files, videos, and text during the discussion.
How Did The Clubhouse App Went Viral?
First of all, let’s understand who is the founder of this Clubhouse app. The app was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Paul davison and Rohan Seth in March 2020. After two months of launch, the app managed to gain 1500 users and a net worth of 100 million without a public website.
In February 2021, something unexpected has made this app receive tremendous downloads! What has caused it to happen? Well, the short answer is influenced by Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, who is famously known for his eccentric style. Elon’s appearance in the Clubhouse app when he joined the open discussion room with Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev, has made many users curious and want to join the discussion room. Some had never heard of the app and immediately downloaded it just to explore the new app, to listen and interact with those two CEO’s. In addition, the chat room was broadcast live on YouTube and made people more interested in trying out the new app.
As you can see, the downloads increased when Elon joined the Clubhouse. The amount of downloads continued to spike day after day.
Elon and Vladimir on the Clubhouse app chat room for a discussion session.
How Does The Clubhouse Work?
As stated earlier, the app uses audio-only as a communication platform between people. After you get invited to join and setup basic information like name, username, add a photo, etc, you will be asked to choose a list of interests that you like such as economics, education, travel, food & drink and more. Once you have picked your choice of interests, it will show you which groups are related to those topics or interests in the front home page. The more interests you pick, the more discussion rooms you will be able to see and join.
Every discussion room has a moderator, whose job is to facilitate and regulate the interactions that occur in that particular discussion room. When the discussion session finishes, the discussion room will immediately disappear as well. Therefore, you will not be able to access the room later.
What Makes The Clubhouse App Popular?
The emergence of Elon’s is not only the main factor that makes this app trending, but there are also some unique features in this app. Here are some of the unique features or benefits:
1. Listen while multitasking
This app is like a podcast, where you can listen to conversations while multitasking. For instance, you can listen while shopping, working, exercising, or literally what your activities are! In addition, you can also listen while in another app such as browsing on Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc without having the Clubhouse app automatically close.
2. Build network with experts from other industries
If you want to venture other industries to build your own business, you may not know how to get started. You can ask questions to the founders or CEO’s from other industries to get enough tips before starting your business. Plus, you can also listen to other users asking the questions that you may not have thought of and you can write in notes based on the answers given by the speaker. This is very helpful because the questions and answers are real-time and immediate response.
3. Use just voice, no camera needed
Many people are shy when confronted with the camera. But, the Clubhouse app does not need a camera, all that is needed is audio and an avatar. This allows you to get ready without makeup or you do not need to look neat when joining the room! All you have to do is just plugin your earphones and listen!
4. No in-app advertising / no subscription
Everyone doesn’t like when ads are displayed in the app. It disrupts user interaction and can make users dislike the application. For the Clubhouse app, it does not have any spam ads or any kind of ad elements. In addition, it also has no subscription package. All users can enjoy all the features of the application for free without any payment.
5. You can exit the room quietly
If you find the discussion room boring, you can leave the room quietly without making a fuss. There is no need to announce your departure because this app does not work like an airport (joke)! All you have to do is press the peace sign button below and off you go.
Indeed, there are many benefits in this app. But, it also has its own limitations or disadvantages. Let’s see what the limitations are:
1. Only available for IOS devices
Yes, currently it is only available for Apple/iPhone users. This means you can only download and use the app if you have an iPhone or Ipad. But do not worry, the developers of Clubhouse are planning to make the app available for everyone, which will be also available for android as well in the future. So, let’s be patient and wait!
2. Invite only
Clubhouse only uses an invite function. You cannot download it from the app store and create an account. This means you have to know someone who uses the app and ask them to invite you in order to create an account. Besides that, existing users can only have 2 invites initially, so you have to choose carefully the people that you want to invite.
3. Waiting time can be longer
As this app grows in popularity, many users will flood the room space. When you’re in a small room where there are less listeners, you probably don’t have to wait long. You can raise your hand and be in front of the stage to ask questions quickly. But, if you are in a room with a lot of users, your chances of wanting to ask questions to the speakers may not be achieved as many people also want to ask questions in turn. This may make you wait longer and possibly not even have a chance to ask questions to the speakers as not all speakers will wait in the room for a long time.
In summary, the Clubhouse app is still in the process of expanding its audience. Once it has started to be released on the android platform, we can expect more users to use this app. In addition, it also has the potential to remain as one of the unique social media platforms that use audio only.