Clubhouse App 101: What Is It?

The Clubhouse app is a social networking platform based on audio chat. Users can join virtual rooms to listen or participate in live discussions, ranging from casual conversations to expert panels on various topics. Launched in 2020, it quickly gained popularity for its unique format, enabling real-time, voice-based interaction and networking opportunities, distinguishing it from text-based social media platforms. Clubhouse fosters a sense of community and immediacy in digital communication.

Growing up, did you ever accidentally hear a neighbor’s conversation through the baby monitor? That’s kind of what Clubhouse is like, except everyone knows you’re listening – and it’s completely legal. Plus, it’s significantly more secure than baby monitors.

Clubhouse is the new iPhone-only invite-only social media platform. It’s recently gotten a lot of buzz thanks to celebrities like Elon Musk and Bill Gates popping into the platform to say hello. Jordan Minor of PCMag says it’s like Twitter was a podcast you live in. Others equate it to a Zoom where everyone’s cameras are off, since it can be difficult to keep up with who is speaking.

Though it was initially founded in March 2020, it is quickly gaining steam as a beta-only platform… just like Pinterest did many years ago…. Except with visual media.

Clubhouse contains no images or video. The only images on the platform are user profile pictures. That’s part of what makes it so different from the heavy hitters like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Before we take a look at how you can include this app as part of your social media strategy, let’s discuss how it works, and how to jump into the conversation… if you’re lucky enough to get invited.

How Clubhouse Works

Getting an invite means a fellow iPhone user has given the app access to their entire contact list. It means whoever invited you trusts you and thinks you’ll appreciate the network – since invites aren’t easy to come by until you’ve been using the app for a while.

Users can create or join Clubhouse rooms. Creators serve as moderators who can speak freely or address other members who wish to participate. You can see who is talking by looking for a halo around their photo.

Any user is free to create an “open” room that allows any other users to join. “Social” rooms are only for people you follow to join. “Closed” rooms are invite-only, so only the guests who accept the invitation can participate. “Clubs” can create recurring rooms (weekly chit-chats, anyone?) with members.

You can follow other users or clubs, to find out when they are participating or moderating in a room.

The Clubhouse Hallway is the Facebook Newsfeed, where you can get updates about what your followers and audience are doing – and take a look at what is popular.

The Clubhouse calendar is where you’ll find a list of upcoming events. Any Clubhouse user can add to the calendar. When you add a room of your own to the calendar, it will notify your followers for you.

Frequently Asked Questions About Clubhouse

Are the Conversations Permanent?

No, the conversations disappear after the moderator ends the chat. However, many users are finding workarounds so that they can record conversations. To be sure you’re not breaking any laws, make sure you mention in the room description that the conversations may be recorded. This way, people who don’t want to be recorded can know upfront whether they want to join the room or not. It’s best to assume clubhouse conversations are being recorded, just to be safe.

What can I listen to on Clubhouse?

If you can imagine it, chances are, someone is talking about it on Clubhouse. And if there’s a niche, there’s likely room for it. If you can’t find anything to listen to, you can always start your own.

How many people can be in a Clubhouse room?

There can be up to 5,000 people in a Clubhouse room at any given time. Thankfully, though, not everyone is allowed to speak at once. Moderators control who can speak and when.

Do I have to talk? Can I just listen?

You’re not required to participate in any conversation unless you create the room and serve as a moderator. Moderators aren’t required to let you speak, though if you want to try, you can virtually raise your hand. Plenty of people just listen.

Can I delete my account if I change my mind?

Right now, the only way to delete your account is to send an email to the company to request it.

Any word on when it’s coming to Android?

As of this writing, there is no indication of when the app will become available to Android users. We just know that it will eventually open to everyone.

Can I monetize it?

Not directly. I’m sure that just as all other social media platforms before it there will eventually be a way to earn money from your Clubhouse rooms, but right now, there isn’t. That’s not to say you can’t use it to nurture your audience of prospects and current customers into purchasing your products or services, though. Use it as a way to establish your expertise, trust, and authority. Then, direct your Clubhouse followers to your other resources online.

Using Clubhouse as Part of Your Social Media Marketing Efforts

Clubhouse isn’t something that just any business should rush to be part of. It’s not the right fit for all businesses, and trying to be everywhere at once isn’t the right way to approach social media. Ultimately, it’s best to use it to establish your expertise, rather than trying to get creative with it. You can expand brand awareness and your audience overall.

Search to see what others in your niche are doing channel-wise. Are they creating their own clubs? Jumping into relevant conversations? Do you have enough of a following to bring in listeners, or should you just be participating in other chats?

Alternatively, it can be a great way to get market research. Listen to the questions people are asking, and find ways to provide answers – not just within Clubhouse, but for blogs, ebooks, and more.

It will be interesting to watch this social media app. If you’re part of the pilot program there, I’d love to hear from you. How are you becoming part of the conversation? Are you using it to build communities?

And for you, Android users, are you interested in the idea that Twitter is rolling out Twitter Spaces – something similar to Clubhouse? What about the rumor that Facebook is too, building something similar?

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