What is the Clubhouse App? If you are a social media geek, you have probably noticed a new rising trend. There is a huge buzz online about this new social media app – Clubhouse.
Clubhouse has been around for about a year. But, why is everyone speaking about it now?
- What is the Clubhouse App?
- How does the Clubhouse App work?
- Is Clubhouse a threat to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok?
These are only some of the questions I will try to answer for you here.
So, let’s get started!
What Is The Clubhouse App?
Clubhouse is a new exclusive chat app. When I say “new”, I mean “newly viral”. The app itself has been around for nearly a year (roughly as much as Covid in the US).
The reason why you might be hearing about this app only now is because it is invite-only. At the beginning, the app was kept inside a small circle of celebrities. The fact that famous people used it first is a part of the reason why everybody suddenly wanted in.
The app itself is a classic social media platform. However, instead of visual and textual content, Clubhouse uses audio as primary – nay, only medium.
The only images you will see inside are the profile pictures of the users. And the only text you will read is someone’s personal bio.
So, what is shared instead?
Nothing is actually shared, in the classical content sharing sense. Audio content is available only in the moment of time when it goes live (sort of like an interactive podcast), and then it disappears forever.
I don’t get it. The content is not always available?
Nope. Only in the moment of its creation, as a live show which you are welcome to join in.
How Does Clubhouse Work?
Still confused? Let me break it down for you.
Clubhouse is sort of like a platform hosting many chat rooms. Only, instead of texting, people use their voices to make conversations.
Just as in any other chat room app, once you have an account, you can join in to any conversation you like. This means you will not only get to listen to the speakers (as in a podcast), but be included in the conversation.
Think of it as a phone call where anyone can pick up the phone and listen to what you are saying, but also interrupt you and speak up.
Okay. How do I get into Clubhouse?
This is an invite-only chat app. To become a member, someone you know must invite you to join.
Also, Clubhouse is only available on iOS. The Android version is being developed as we speak, but there are no options on joining in from your computer.
Any iPhone user can also download the app. Once you open the app, you can check if you have any friends who are using it, so you can ask them to send you an invite.
So, how do I schedule something in Clubhouse?
You don’t. Each conversation happens in that moment of time, and after that you can never hear it again.
Of course, you can always use other social media apps – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – to announce your chat room conversation.
Why Is Clubhouse Becoming So Popular?
I hope we have agreed Clubhouse is sort of like a chatroom. Now, let’s investigate why it’s suddenly all everybody talks about.
So many great things for our generation have started in an online chatroom. The team that initiated Pirate Bay, the platform that revolutionized the way we consume content and pay for it, met in a chatroom somewhere on the web.
So, why Clubhouse, out of all chatrooms?
One theory explaining why people enjoy listening to the conversations on Clubhouse is the appeal of the human voice. This is basically the same reason why people enjoy radio shows and podcasts.
But, there is more to it than just the sound of voice.
Firstly, the idea of listening to someone’s phone call. Think about it: with a push of a button you can feel as a CIA agent dropping into a private line.
The theory that users enjoy the app so much because they like to snoop (but not in a creepy way) is not at all irrelevant. At this moment, around 5,000 people can be in the same room on the app, simultaneously. In conclusion, most of the participants are actually only listeners.
Is that it? That’s why it’s trending?
No, that’s not it. People loving to peek into someone else’s business is not the reason why Clubhouse stats went up high to the Moon.
Have you heard of FOMO? The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) syndrome is the type of social anxiety common among Millennial and generation Z.
Social media affects our psychology not only in the way that we want to live the events people share, but we feel the constant need to be present on our apps. Think about it. How often do you check your Insta? How about Twitter? Facebook?
Every conversation that takes place in a Clubhouse room only happens once. After that, you cannot hear it ever again. You can only hear about it from your friends, but if you don’t join in – you missed on it forever.
Okay, it’s voice-based and time-bound. What else?
The final reason, and possibly the most important one, is exclusivity. You need a link to join in.
For some people, Clubhouse is like high-school all over again. There is a party going on, and you are not invited. Being on Clubhouse is still a prestigious achievement for some people, especially because that’s where all the famous people hang out.
By implementing this type of strategy for acquiring new users, Clubhouse founders have made it an online royal club – that you really wish to become a member of.
Let’s sum up. Clubhouse’s popularity is based on four strong pillars:
- We love to listen to the sound of voice.
- We like to listen to other people’s conversations.
- We enjoy being a part of a one-time-event.
- We don’t want to feel left out.
Elitism of Clubhouse skyrocketed it’s popularity in the way that any famous person can just pop into a room with you and participate in the conversation. When Elon Musk appeared on Clubhouse to talk about us reaching Mars, Sriram, the host, said “This is a true historic moment.”
What Are The Risks Of Clubhouse?
Are there any downsides to using this app? Actually, there are many. For now, let’s focus only on the potential risks that the app is bringing to the table, and not dive so much into the features the app is still developing.
Clubhouse already had some reported issues with abuse of the app by the users.
You know how, when you start with a new idea, you always see only the good side of it? This often happens with the founders of nearly any software online – including the website builders and search engines themselves.
Clubhouse didn’t really count on the human factor, or rather the fact that not all people are respectful and friendly. Whenever you open a software to the public – someone will find the way to paint it black.
Because of the abuses and hate speech happening on Clubhouse, they were forced to put in place a Community Moderation Guidelines in October 2020. Obviously, people will continue to be inconsiderate, but at least there is a policy in place on how we can handle it.
How safe is my data on Clubhouse?
Some of the major concerns Facebook users have nowadays is about the way their data is processed. Same goes for any other social media app.
To register at Clubhouse, you need to submit your phone number. Your real name doesn’t have to be the same as your username. You can even create a username for yourself before you even get the invitation to join.
The invitation is done via your mobile phone. The person inviting you needs to have your number, and you receive a text asking you to join with the link.
If you don’t want to create a new profile, you can link your Clubhouse account with Twitter, and import info such as your profile picture. This is all optional, you are not required to share if you don’t want to.
Clubhouse also invites you to link your contacts, and this is another way it gathers your information. This is also optional, you are not obligated to import contacts if you prefer not to.
Once you create an account, you can choose to verify your email address. This is another option you can use for logging back in, in case you encounter any issues. Email is a backup option, and it is also not mandatory.
How private are my conversations on Clubhouse?
Short answer: not at all. At least not at this point. Many concerns were raised from the beginning of this year about privacy of rooms being breached.
Clubhouse keeps telling us that they are doing everything they can to prevent our data from being stolen. However, hackers keep proving them wrong.
Two cases in particular raised concerns of the public.
One is the user who found a way to live stream the room conversation to his website. He simply used the content to distribute it through a third-party website.
Another important event that took place is a user who shared his login with the rest of the world, remotely. Cybersecurity experts are looking into the metadata that was being pulled from Clubhouse to other webpages on the internet.
Okay. Wow! Are there other concerns I should be looking out for?
Unfortunately, yes. Like any other social media, Clubhouse depends on the user generated content. This means that the freedom of speech is sometimes interpreted differently by different users.
This doesn’t only go for hate speech. Social media algorithms (especially Youtube) are struggling with the fact their algorithms help spread fake news and conspiracy theories.
This year, Clubhouse has joined the club. Via these apps, more and more coocoo theories are being spread about the Coronavirus, and they are so far not being supervised in any way.
Is Clubhouse A Threat To Facebook And Its Products?
Facebook is a social media giant. So far, Facebook has shut down most of its competitors, usually by buying them out. It is not hard to believe this could happen with Clubhouse as well.
Some social media experts suggest you should use the most of Clubhouse within your marketing strategy before the hype dies out. They suggest that Clubhouse can end as fast as it began, and simply be forgotten.
If that was the case, it is up to you to decide whether it is good for your business growth to invest in activity on a platform that can die tomorrow. It could be an excellent choice. But it could also be a waste of resources.
When it comes to the battle of Facebook VS Clubhouse, it is hard to predict what will happen in the near future. Facebook has announced to be building a product to compete with Clubhouse.
This news sounds big, and it is so. But, is it good news? It’s too soon to tell.
One of the reasons we can be led to believe Facebook will crush Clubhouse very soon is that it has happened before with other social media apps. Facebook has a lot of resources. It is, on its own, a free advertising platform (multiple platforms actually). It has billions of loyal users that would find it easier to use another Facebook product.
For us in marketing, there are clear pros and cons of Facebook joining in this new trend. Clear pro is that we will still be able to implement our marketing strategy via the same scheduling platform. Clear con: if this type of platform becomes the new thing, we will have to rethink the way we create content entirely.
It will take us a lot of time and resources to create the strategy marketing and strategy for sales. We may have to come up with new ways of engaging our audience and an authentic solution for making our brand stand out when all the visuals are off the table.
How do you think the battle Facebook VS Clubhouse will end?
Whose side are you on?
I would like to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share in the comment section below.