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Clubhouse: what is this new social media phenomenon?

Posted on January 18, 2021

 

Clubhouse, an app launched last spring in the height of the COVID pandemic, is the latest social media network on everyone’s lips, but what’s it all about?

Developed by Silicon Valley’s Rohan Seth and Paul Davison, the app consists of a series of chat rooms, although they are based on audio rather than the traditional text-based chat rooms popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. These are widely varied in their topics, with comedy clubs, dating rooms, career workshops and even auditions for hit musicals Dreamgirls and Hamilton all taking place on the app.

In Clubhouse, you can explore the different chat rooms available to join and people to follow. There are both scheduled events and spontaneous chats available to join in on, with scheduled talks available to view in the app’s calendar:

When you join a room, you will be a member of the ‘audience’. If you wish to take part in the discussion, you can raise your hand, and those speaking can choose to invite you to contribute. If you enter a room and want to leave, you can click the ‘leave quietly’ button and continue browsing the plethora of rooms available.

A spokesperson for the app told the Evening Standard that Clubhouse is:

“A social experience that is focused on connection, learning, and authentic conversations, where people close the app feeling better than they did when they opened it, because they have deepened friendships, met new people and learned.”

According to the creators, the focus is not on followers or likes, but instead is on connection and dialogue – an outlook that many will find refreshing.

Currently, the app is in beta mode, and is exclusive to iPhone users. While in beta, people can only join via an invite from an existing member, making access exclusive and coveted by onlookers across the world. A-list names like Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West and Drake are all on the platform. Comedian Kevin Hart is also a member, and he tweeted back in November about his experience:

While still in beta, it is unknown just how large an impact Clubhouse will have on the social media world. It appears to have taken the world into a frenzy already, but this may just be people’s fear of missing out (otherwise known as FOMO) coming into effect. Clubhouse certainly has the potential to take networking and engagement with one another to a new level on a worldwide scale.

At Engage Web, we always keep our eye on large developments like this in the online world, and our Managing Director Lianne and Technical Director Darren are both using the app as @liannewilkinson and @MisterDaz, respectively.

  • […] chat room app Clubhouse has unveiled its first feature allowing people to make money on the […]

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