Updated: Jan 28
You’ve probably noticed internet buzz around Clubhouse, the latest social media app to gain traction among young people. The app is currently in beta, aka a demo version, which means there’s limited capacity. Right now it’s only accessible to iPhone users and you have to be personally invited to join. So what exactly happens once you’re in? People simply talk!
At its best, Clubhouse, aka CH, is a forum where people can discuss the ins and outs of everything from entrepreneurship, to wellness practices, to how to become a sugar baby. The application can facilitate ties between people whose paths ordinarily wouldn’t cross. Chatrooms are moderated by hosts and from there, occupants can weigh in on whatever subject, literally voicing their thoughts and opinions.
At its worst, it’s a hodgepodge of know-it-alls and clout chasers seeking validation and attention. A common criticism of the platform is that anyone can become a self-appointed expert on a topic without actually having accomplished anything notable. See critiques below👇🏾
But there are people like entrepreneur and self-described “business and marketing nerd,” Eric Siu, who value the human connection of the app. In an Instagram post on January 5th he said this:
“I’ve heard amazing advice, people cry, and hilarious conversations. Being able to interact with someone’s voice off the cuff goes far deeper than an Instagram or TikTok.”
Another user, Nour Abrahim, says she uses CH to reach people she wouldn’t normally have access to—either physically or financially. “From hearing Lakeith Stanfield moan for a chance to win $2,000 to learning what it takes to run a million dollar business, there are many routes to navigate,” she says.
While the innovative app has seen immense growth and success since it debuted in March 2020, it still has some kinks to smooth out. Recently, journalists and reporters have noted the lack of protections against divisive and hateful conversations within the app. Because of its intimate nature and relative exclusivity, there’s an inclination for people to speak freely, being politically incorrect and irreverent. Subsequently, those conversations have gotten leaked and spread outside of Clubhouse, despite guidelines explicitly forbidding recording and sharing Clubhouse discourses.
Imperfections aside, it seems like Clubhouse is here to stay for the long run, as people continue to flock to it despite its shortcomings. At the moment, there’s no other app to compare with the distinct features of CH, but Twitter is working on incorporating a similar sub-setting called “Spaces.”
In the meantime, users are offered a unique experience if they’re fortunate enough to snag a coveted invite. Once inside, it’s up to them to make the most of its offerings.