Slack threads, Scheduled Zoom calls, and endless email chains do not capture the unpredictable thrill or joy of having physical conversations. With COVID-19 evolving the way we work and socialize, the free-flowing, ad-hoc communication with friends and open office conversations are often missing.
Clubhouse, a new type of networking app has recreated the spontaneity of conversations online. The app uses an audio-based social network where people can spontaneously jump into voice chat rooms and talk about stuff together.
Clubhouse is “24/7 virtual panel” where you can jump in and even participate in the live audio rooms of friends, teammates, industry professionals and even celebrities like Kevin Hart, Oprah and Drake.
Over $100 million raised
Founded last year by Paul Davison, who previously founded offline people-meeting location app Highlight, Clubhouse has grown from having just 1,500 users in May 2020 to over two million active users.
Last weekend, the buzzy live-voice chat announced a new funding round led by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. According to Axios, the Series B round was about $100 million.
The app which was valued at about $100 million last May after it raised $12 million is now worth $1 billion in valuation according to The Information.
Absolute exclusivity…for now
The only way to get on the Clubhouse is to get an invitation. Yes, it’s that exclusive. In addition to that, it’s currently only available on iOS devices. However, it’s still only in its beta phase and the founders have revealed they are working on its Andriod version.
Once you get an invitation, you too will be able to extend invitations to another person. However, the number of invitation per person is limited (3).
How to get a Clubhouse invitation
The fastest way to get an invitation to Clubhouse is to reach out to friends on the app. However, if that doesn’t work and you’re determined to get invited ASAP, some of the best ways to find people to offer invitation is to scour other social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
Posting tweets or Instagram story with the hashtag #Clubhouse can go a long way. Similarly jumping on trends from clubhouse could work.
However, if it doesn’t work you can simply download the app and reserve your username, getting yourself on the waiting list. If you have friends already on Clubhouse, chances are that the app will pick up on who you already know and send you a direct invite.
Andriod users will have to wait a while to get on the app but if you are an iOS user and you find yourself getting that long-awaited golden ticket, here’s how to use the app.
How to catch your cruise on the Clubhouse app
After opening the app and you’ll get prompted to choose people, topics and interests to follow. Based on what and who you choose, a list of currently ongoing and upcoming discussions will be displayed on your panel.
You will be able to see chat rooms hosted by all different users, from your friends to colleagues and even artiste like Drake.
Clubhouse is free to download
The interface is simple and easy to navigate. However, it takes some playing around to understand all the rules and features of the voice chat app.
Joining a chat is very easy. You can simply click on any available chat tile or create your own. You can also enable notifications so you get alerts when discussions you might be interested in are happening.
The chat rooms will have titles, brief topic descriptions and the names and profiles of moderators, speakers and other users in the chat. The moderators are the owners of the chat rooms and they decide who is allowed to speak. Moderators have a green asterisk beside their profiles.
Speakers on the other hand are those invited by the moderators and as such, they have the power to speak in the chat room. Others in the chat room who joined either by invitation by a speaker or through explore can raise their hands but can’t speak unless a moderator allows it.
If you get overwhelmed by a discussion or see another that catches your fancy, you can just tap the “Leave Quietly” button to exit the chat room.
How to follow and get followers on Clubhouse
Upon signing up, Clubhouse on request combines your phone’s address book and with whoever you choose to follow. You’ll find all kinds of people including celebs like Kevin Hart to follow.
From there you can pop in and participate in their discussion rooms as you please, following whomever you like along the way by clicking the “follow” button next to their profile photos and brief description.
However, to get followers you have to be very active and engaging on the platform. Moderating engaging conversations that people are interested in is a good way to get followers. Also talking in chat rooms is another good way to meet people and gather followers.
How To Start A Room On Clubhouse
Starting a room of one’s own on Clubhouse is easy and straight forward. Once you ‘Add A Topic’, you’ll be prompted to choose between making the room Open, Social, or Closed. An open room will make the chat open to whomsoever is on the app.
A social room will make the room available to only those that you’re directly connected to on the app while a closed room is a private room for only you and the users you invite.
Once the room has been created you can ping individuals on your follow list to join you in the room. If the room is an open room, other people could join in the fun.
Asides creating a room, you can also schedule a chat using the ‘Calendar Feature‘. With the feature, you can schedule a chat room for a particular day and time and share the link with people you want to attend. However, they all must be on Clubhouse.
Clubhouse gives people the power to decide when they are or aren’t available. This freedom makes it possible for you to only enter a social connection when you want it
People want to enjoy more freedom and engagement and Clubhouse offers this and more. The app has done a remarkable job of attracting creator talent, including high-profile celebrity and politicians, which has helped spur its growth.
Currently, it’s making plans to attract even more with a new “Creator Grant Program” to help creators on the platform get paid. This includes subscriptions, tipping and ticket sales.
With the app still in the beta phase and the Android version on the way, there’s a lot more to expect from Clubhouse.
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