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Clubhouse: Shiny New Thing or the Next Social Frontier?

Clubhouse is a new social media platform that is audio-based instead of images, videos or text. You may have heard of it already, but is it here to stay?


What is Clubhouse?


Clubhouse launched in 2019 but has only recently grown in popularity. High profile celebrities like Kayne West, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah and Drake have all helped Clubhouse attract attention. The app is now worth an eye watering $1 billion - making it achieve the ethereal unicorn startup status, joining the ranks of AirBnB, Uber, and Space X. As of 1st February 2021 it is said to have approximately 2 million users.


Unlike other social media platforms you cannot simply download the app and join. Instead, you must have an invite to currently be a user on the platform. Once you become a member on the app, you will be given five invites to gift. Clubhouse is currently still in Beta mode and only available to iPhone users. This exclusivity along with the invite-only mechanism lends to its sense of elitism, already attracting some criticism from industry leaders.


The app founders (Paul Davison and Rohan Seth) have focused on quality over quantity, creating a ‘nightclub effect,’ (when you line up for an often empty nightclub because you have the fear of missing out). Say what you will, there's no denying it's paid off for them.


How does Clubhouse work?


Unlike Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, Clubhouse doesn’t use pictures, text or video as a tool for communication, it is audio only. It is similar to listening to a podcast but it is live and open to participation.


Similar to TikTok, the Clubhouse algorithm can understand interests instead of trying to work out acquaintances. This means you could easily expand your social network as it is less about who you know and more about what you are interested in. Once you are an active user, you will be asked to select topics of interest, like technology, books, business or health.


The more information you give at this stage the more conversation rooms and individuals the app will suggest you follow or join. Conversation rooms are split into speakers and listeners. Each room has moderators who keep things in check. Listeners can virtually raise their hand to ask a question and join in with the conversation. Once a conversation is finished the room is deleted and users are not aloud to record what happens in any room.


How to make the most of Clubhouse.


Clubhouse has been compared to LinkedIn on steroids. You are expected to follow the rules, be professional and act how you would in-person if you were at a business meeting or seeing a show at the theatre.


We have put together a few handy tips so that you can get the most from this new social media platform:


  • Be sparing with your invites. Only give them to people you actually think will use them.

  • Make sure to fill out your bio properly. Get straight to the point just like you would in your Instagram bio. Don’t forget to link your Twitter and Instagram to your account.

  • At the beginning listen more than you talk. Take some time to settle in and see what everyone else is doing before getting on stage.

  • If you are invited on stage, write down what you would like to say beforehand. It is understandable to be nervous but because it is an audio-only app it is easy for listeners to pick up on your nerves!

  • Don’t go onto Clubhouse to sell; it won’t work. Go in with the mindset of wanting to help others and learn more yourself.

  • It can be intimidating going into a room that is full of very successful people with big voices. Be patient, stand strong and be genuine, you will find your tribe.

  • One final tip if you are creating a room, try and have a second moderator or contributor. Team up with someone you follow that already has a big group. Keep your speech or room, fast moving and on topic. Like all social media, Clubhouse is not immune to users getting bored especially because it is audio-only.


Shiny New Thing or Next Frontier?


Whilst there is some initial discomfort in this new platform - whether that's down to the new-ness, the sound autoplay, or the fact the app is still in beta mode - we do see the long-term opportunity for performers and professionals with Clubhouse. Whether it will become big enough to rival Instagram or TikTok is yet to be seen...


So far the app is popular with startups, business owners and professionals. This could be the key to its continued success. It’s a ‘club’ where professionals can meet to discuss the latest industry trends, offer advice and host workshops which makes it a very valuable tool. To make sure that Clubhouse is not the next MySpace, it needs to resist the urge to open to the masses and focus on quality over quantity.



Sources:

Unicorn Startup - https://www.investopedia.com/terms/u/unicorn.asp

Clubhouse - https://www.joinclubhouse.com/

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