Clubhouse – everything you need to know

What is clubhouse

Have you already tested the famous Clubhouse app? We did, and here is our take.

What is Clubhouse?

To put it briefly: Clubhouse (not to be confused with Clubhouse.io, a project management app) it’s a new invite-only social media platform, based on group live voice chats. The app was released in April 2020, so it’s not even a year old, yet, it has been backed by Andreessen Horowitz venture capital and therefore valued at 1 billion USD. And here are the people behind it – Rohan Seth and Paul Davinson:

Rohan Seth and Paul Davison

Some call this unicorn with only 10 people on board the the next major social media app. Our goal was to build a social experience that felt more human—where instead of posting, you could gather with other people and talk – write the founders on they blog. They couldn’t have found a better time. Pandemic, need for closeness and a “human touch”, growing audio market – all these factors created a perfect circumstances for an initiative like Clubhouse to bloom. 

In the beginning the app was a venture capitalists’ playground, but soon its user base broadened and now it includes a whole range of people and topics – Oprah is one of the first celebrity users!

How does Clubhouse work?

Clubhouse is organized into rooms. Each room can have up to 5000 users – some of them are speakers and some can only listen. A little bit like a podcast, but you can chime in. The limit has been reached on Sunday, January 31st, when Elon Musk called out Robinhood CEO, Vlad Tenev, for their moves regarding the recent GameStopgate (Robinhood decided to restrict trading in GameStop).  If you feel like saying something but you were not given the right to speak, you can take your toys and create your own room! And if you are going to share secrets, your new room can be marked as private or locked.

The platform creates an aura of inaccessibility, as we mentioned it’s invite-only and designed for iPhones – its said that the Android-compatible version is coming up soon. Here is a view of what does the interface look like: home screen (current discussions), room screen (speakers & listeners) and a profile page of a Clubhouse member.

Clubhouse interface

Can I make money on Clubhouse?

In one word – no. In two words – not yet.  In three words – it’s complicated. The platform does not allow branded profiles yet and it has no built-in method for monetization now. David Bloom from Forbes makes a prediction that taking financial care of charismatic moderators and community leaders will be crucial to attract brands and big money.

Clubhouse knows this already and that’s why they are testing a “Creator Pilot Program” designed for little over 40 influencers. For the time being, features like tipping, tickets and subscriptions are being considered. Will it work? The time will tell. The creators will have to put a lot of effort to manage the engagement, money, users and influencers to make the app sustainable.

Our take & review

Judging from the first experiences of the users from our bubble, you can hear the whole range of opinions. In some circles the reception was somewhat less enthusiastic and you could hear mostly “I wish I had enough time for that”. On the other hand the whole principle of talking and listening instead of writing and reading seems refreshing. The conversations seem authentic, they are not scripted, nor recorded, and they answer to the need of authenticity and closeness. As for the brands presence – it’s a matter of time and we are going to pay close attention to the unfolding marketing opportunities on Clubhouse.