Clubhouse: Why everyone is talking about the invite-only audio app

The lowdown on how the new app works as well as the conversations you can join in, the downsides and everything in between

Do you ever wonder what it might be like to be a fly on the wall listening in on some of the most prominent people’s conversations and discussions? Well, you might just have that opportunity with the audio-focused social app Clubhouse.

What is the app?

Clubhouse was founded in March 2020 by Rohan Seth and Paul Davison and is owned by the Alpha Exploration Co. It’s a place where you can meet new people, talk to them or listen to them talk. 

Sounds like every other social media app? Not really. This one isn’t like any of the others out there. Think Twitter with people having live conversations or podcasts without edits and fancy mics for good audio. There are no pictures or videos—just people talking.

How to join?

Here’s the catch: You can’t just sign up and have free access to all these conversations. It’s an exclusive, invite-only app available only to Apple users (but an Android version is on the way!) This means that you only get access if someone who has an account invites you. Once in, each user receives two invitations they can then send out. 

You can download the app and sign up for the waiting list, but there is no guarantee you’ll get an account. So unless you have friends who already have access to the app, it looks like you’ll have to wait for a while. Don’t worry cause CEO Paul Davidson promises that this app will eventually be available to everyone, everywhere.

How does it work?

This app is for people who like to talk about common interests, be heard and exchange ideas and knowledge. It’s also meant for people who want to listen to other people speak. You can join the app as a host, a listener and in some cases, as a contributor to on-going conversations.

Most conversations are hosted by people like celebrities, experts, and journalists who talk about different topics that can range from self-help, health and wellness, business, tech, faith and more. 

There’s been a lot of buzz about this app in the last few months because of people like tech moguls Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Zendaya and Kevin Hart having spoken on the platform. 

You’ll surely find something that fits your interest because multiple conversations are happening at the same time. You might even find yourself hopping from one conversation to the next, depending on your interests.

What are the downsides?

Since launching in 2020, there have been issues with hate speech, bullying and harassment. And in response, Clubhouse has already upgraded its moderation guidelines and hired moderators. Still, since the app promotes free speech and dialogue, people will talk and not everything they say will sit well with everyone—which would eventually necessitate more and more moderators as the app grows.

The future

So what is the future of Clubhouse? In just a couple of months, the app has grown to be this platform where people from all backgrounds can talk and share ideas. 

As it continuously expands to be like some of the biggest social media apps available now, it will have to deal with and be ready for problems and issues. Clubhouse is also looking into monetizing content to allow hosts and speakers to make money.  

What do you think? Would you sign up for Clubhouse once it’s made available for everyone?

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