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Have you ever wanted to speak with leaders in your industry? Have you ever wondered how many other people in the world share your opinions and passions? Have you ever wanted to delve deep into your favorite topics with like-minded people? Look no further than the relatively new app called Clubhouse, which connects you with celebrities, communities, and conversations that can change your outlook on your life and career. Below you’ll learn everything from how to use Clubhouse app to why it’s important in today’s creator economy.
The Clubhouse app
The Clubhouse app was conceived as a social audio hub for podcasts and was initially named “Talkshow” in its early development during the fall of 2019. Its official release was in March 2020 and at the time it was providing a space for private communities to flourish, functioning in the vein of its rebranded moniker “Clubhouse”. To become a part of a Clubhouse community, you needed to use an invitation, which at the time were selling on eBay for $400.
Many venture capitalists at the time used it for such a reason. Its appeal only began to branch out when angel investors from companies such as CoinBase.com and Product Hunt and venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz provided substantial funding, ballooning the company’s value to $100 million.
Its release serendipitously (although not for the sake of those affected) paired up with the start of the pandemic, which saw demand for online audio chatting technologies such as Zoom and WebEx rise dramatically. It has since evolved into a leader in the audio/video chat technology market, providing users with the ability to gather and communicate in thousand-member audio chat rooms.
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From its initial release to February 15th of this year, the number of Clubhouse downloads grew from 600,000 to 8.1 million. After trying to refine the monetization of their invitation feature with Stripe, on Jul 21 of this year they made it publicly available for everyone, though there’s still a waitlist for registration to manage the traffic of the many new user accounts. They continue to partner with large brands like the NFL for content deals or TED for exclusive virtual talks as well as releasing new features every month. Clubhouse is now worth $4 billion.
The pandemic has changed the creator economy landscape in many other ways. Read this article to learn more.
How to use Clubhouse app
Online audio chatting is as old as the internet itself, but in recent years more complex online chat applications have made their way to the forefront of the market. Apps like Discord Stage Channels, Twitter Spaces, Slack Huddles, and Facebook Live Audio Rooms have sprung up throughout the years taking over the space and providing the most competition for the almost 2-year-old app. What makes Clubhouse stand out in the crowd is its ability to attract attention from the likes of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg and generate compelling dialogue for a large number of people working in the tech and business fields.
It’s not hard to figure out how to use the Clubhouse app. Its main feature is virtual rooms where users can gather in masses to communicate with each other or listen to a speaker only through audio. There are three kinds of privacy settings for these rooms: “open,” “social,” and “closed.”
Open rooms are open to any Clubhouse user while social and closed rooms require the user to ask the moderator to accept them or send them an invite respectively. The room has a stage where the main speakers can have a conversation between themselves while the others are in the listeners, each identified by a profile picture and name. A listener cannot unmute themselves but can raise their hands to alert the moderator of their intentions to join the stage. A moderator status is given to the person who creates the room and is identified by a green star next to their name.
These virtual rooms are organized into “clubs,” which are communities for users with common interests, found via search tab or explore page. The clubs have an “admin,” “leader,” or “member.” Whoever creates the club is its admin, who has the ability to change the club’s privacy settings (which are the same as rooms), add or remove users, change their privileges, and create any kind of room within the club.
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Leaders are the tier below admin, who can create/schedule both private and open rooms. Members can only create private rooms within the club. Users can join the club by either selecting “Join The Club” or “Apply To Join” where their membership application is reviewed by the admin much like joining a real-life clubhouse.
Another feature is Clubhouse Payments, which is the direct payment service that allows users to send money to the content creators that have enabled its use on their profile. Each user can choose to donate a certain amount of money to their favorite creators much like Twitch or YouTube. Each club or room can have different settings pertaining to this. Clubhouse partnered with Stripe for this service, which prompts each donation to be accompanied by a processing fee.
The Clubhouse Creator First program was initiated to help these content creators to monetize their content and find sponsorships for their shows. Clubhouse paid $5,000 a month for 3 months so that a certain 24 content creators could try and secure sponsorships for their shows. Unfortunately, these creators didn’t get the opportunity to speak to their dozens of agencies and brands one-on-one but instead were prompted to try to compete for them in an open room. Many creators have criticized the app for this.
Check out other tip-based platforms that are making strides in the creator economy here
Pros and Cons of getting Clubhouse
Overall, Clubhouse is like a combination between Discord and Twitch, and it’s easy to figure out how to use the Clubhouse app. You can create communities of like-minded people who can all share their thoughts on interesting topics, and you can donate to your favorite creators, follow them, and become members of their clubs. It’s a massive platform where you can network with a variety of important people and listen in on their insights and experience. It brings you very close to people like Elon Musk and gives you the opportunity to even ask questions if you’re lucky.
On Clubhouse tonight at 10pm LA time
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 31, 2021
Like Discord, you can find a community for virtually any topic you like or create one yourself. It is a great way to connect with people that you might not otherwise be able to connect with and learn more about many things that are important to your field, market, or career. There are currently 10 million users on the waitlist ready to take part in their favorite communities.
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However, with this kind of ability comes a lot of responsibility, and the possibility for adverse effects grows as popularity grows. Collecting many like-minded individuals in one place can be dangerous if the topics they are discussing are politically sensitive. Already there have been some controversial communities that have spread hate speech, misinformation, islamophobia, or antisemitism.
Since the Clubhouse Guidelines forbid the recording, reproduction, and sharing of conversations without permission, sometimes bullying, harassment, and hate speech are unable to be captured and reported. There’s a chance you can find yourself inside one of these rooms or clubs, and that may cause some issues.
Since the clubs can hold thousands of members, people from all over the world experiencing oppression or war can come to sow certain sentiments about other countries or communities. In February of this year, China banned the app since many Chinese citizens use the platform to discuss sensitive topics like protests in Hong Kong and the political status of Taiwan. Other countries like Jordan and the UAE have since throttled access to the app for the same reasons. This censorship has denied Clubhouse to many people around the world.
There’s also the issue of losing the conversation. Having that many people in one room, including many speakers, can lead to a lot of noise and clutter. You can lose the ability to effectively communicate or ask questions, and the advice or insight you were looking for becomes impossible to take in. If you’re looking to enter charged conversations or discuss sensitive topics, you need to stay on your toes.
Learn more about the creator economy’s influence here.
Familiar faces on Clubhouse
Over the years many high-profile businessmen, tech gurus, and venture capitalists have gravitated to Clubhouse. You can follow your favorite creators and tune in to their talks or shows whenever they schedule them. The two co-founders Rohan Seth and Paul Davison have the most followers on the platform, with 6.6+ million and 5.9+ million respectively, and focus on organizing business rooms with top magnates in the field.
The third most subscribed is comedian Tiffany Haddish. Some other notable names include Elon Musk, Kevin O’Leary, Oprah Winfrey, and Jared Leto. While they all might not have accounts with Clubhouse, they do use the app and join rooms or clubs that pertain to their area of expertise.
— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) July 10, 2021
With its rising popularity, there are many opportunities to hear directly from some of the most influential people in your field, but at the same time, there are many who aren’t exactly who they seem. You should probably do your research on anyone who’s giving advice and insight that is relatively unknown because there have been reports of fake gurus and influencers taking advantage of Clubhouse’s wide audience.
All in all, if you’re looking to meet like-minded people, discuss interesting topics, and learn from professionals in your field, Clubhouse will make it happen for you! You can figure out how to use the Clubhouse app to become more involved in your passions and careers.