Gone are the days of your phone falling on your face as you lie in bed scrolling through posts looking for meaningful content to consume. Clubhouse, the new invite-only platform has become the new exclusive social media destination to find quality content on the internet. Currently supporting only iOS devices, this app allows users to drop in on an audio chat between other users and content generators. Future rollouts are expected to support Android devices.
With a single-page user interface, the developers have kept this app very light and easy to use. When you get one of those coveted invites, you get to invite 5 other people on your contact list who you think would benefit from (or contribute to) this app. What’s even more fun is that it shows who invited you to the Clubhouse, so you never have to debate who got whom into the club with your friends.
The standard interaction model in the app is to join a room or create your room where users can join in and talk about a common topic of interest. On a given day you can find anything from standup comics doing improv to angel investors talking about how to land the perfect pitch. More recently, the app came into the limelight when Elon Musk asked the Russian premier Vladimir Putin to join him in the Clubhouse for a chat.
What sets Clubhouse apart from all the other social media platforms like Twitter, IG, etc. is that you can hear industry leaders, celebrities and famous personalities talk in person as opposed to some social media manager posting curated material. You now know how someone thinks, talks, and operates without any filters and edits. When users enter a room, they are automatically muted and can raise their hand if they want the moderator to activate their mics so they can speak or ask questions. If the room no longer interests you, you can simply click on “Leave Quietly” and exit the room without any of the “BOOP” sounds that you hear all day on Zoom calls.
With no videos or images, the only media for consumption on this app is audio and it doesn’t compete with other apps for screen-time. As soon as you join a room, you can minimize the app and continue using other apps while listening to the content in the room. Also, none of the content is recorded or replayed within the app and this helps make celebrities more candid and open to conversations they may not have on other platforms like Facebook Live or Instagram Live.
At the time of writing this blog, I happened to be listening in to a room discussing blockchain for music artists and lo-behold the speakers in the room included Snoop Dogg and American DJ 3LAU (pronounced Blau). With this level of interaction and being completely ad-free, Clubhouse plans to make money by helping content creators charge their audience directly (for exclusive content) and make some percentage on the transactions. While this may sound like an odd model for monetization, but we have seen this successfully implemented in the popular gaming platform Twitch. Users pay to subscribe to some content generators and also tip others.
Although the app went live less than a year ago, the company is now valued at over $1 billion without any revenue generation. When most users are unable to generate enough money on a platform, they move on to other platforms. For Clubhouse, it is probably too early to tell, but for now, I’m enjoying the platform and listening to Kevin Hart talk about whether he thinks he is funny or not!
Fount of wisdom, insufferable know it all, make it go away are just some of the phrases used to define Melwyn. When he is not at his Consulting job, he spends his time reading about technology and current affairs.