Clubhouse: What’s The Hype?

Drake, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey have all signed up – so have comedians, influencers, marketing experts and big thinkers with hot takes. They are all among the millions who have recently downloaded Clubhouse, the invite-only app that Silicon Valley says is the future of social media.

What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is an audio-only app where friends and strangers can join a room for all kinds of conversations. Users peruse the app’s “hallway” and drop into virtual chat “rooms” to listen in as moderators and guests have meaningful discussions. Conversations range from chats between venture capitalists and celebrity talk shows, to D.J. nights and networking events.

Who uses Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is hitting it big with celebrities. Float around the app and you might hear names like Kevin Hart and Ashton Kutcher hosting chats. In some ways, this is part of Clubhouse’s appeal. You get the chance to hear and even participate in unvarnished conversations with famous and powerful people. Refinery29 described networking as the primary reason for the app’s popularity.

Other than celebrities, the app is seemingly focused on people it considers as elite clientele. The whole invite-only thing was taken seriously at the beginning, but now it is growing even further. The New York Times recently reported that it has 600,000 registered users and has been courting influencers.

Who founded the app?
Paul Davison and Rohan Seth founded Clubhouse last year. According to CNBC, by May it was valued at around $100 million despite having only 1,500 users at the time.

How do you get an invite to Clubhouse?
Right now, you still cannot join Clubhouse without an invite. If you’re an iPhone user though, you can download the app and reserve a username. The app plans to expand to the general public soon. It says it has not done that yet for two reasons: It wants to build community slowly and it wants to prepare features that will help it handle larger numbers of people.

Is it private?
Once you’re on the app, Clubhouse has privacy rules.

Clubhouse records every room but deletes the conversations after a short period. The company says the recordings are “solely for the purpose of investigating an abuse complaint to help determine whether a user should be suspended from the app.”

People in rooms, however, cannot record or even transcribe conversations. The idea is to keep the chats candid and unable to look up later. What’s said is said, and that’s the end of it.

Are there trolls?
Unlike other social media apps, it is easy for Clubhouse chat moderators to boot trolls or block people from joining conversations. Controversy erupted recently when a venture capitalist blocked a journalist from coming into Elon Musk’s room.

The Power Group recently hosted a Clubhouse panel, One Year: Power Predictions for the Food and Beverage Industry Post-COVID and plans to continue utilizing the app to spark engaging conversations with thought leaders and industry professionals. Stay tuned into our Instagram page for updates on when and how to join our next Clubhouse chat!