Clubhouse enters the social scene

|| February 2, 2021

By Jordan McDonald

55 comms Social Media Coordinator

A new social media platform has generated some noise over the last few weeks and it’s worth noting. It’s called Clubhouse.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse attempts to harness the power of voice-only networking and connection. Inside, the app looks vastly different to anything else you may be familiar with. You’re presented with a variety of rooms categorised (and titled) by specific interests. Each of these rooms is moderated and offers a ‘raise hand’ button that lets moderators know you’d like to speak to the room. Once conversation is finished, the room is gone forever – you can’t listen back. The app is currently invite-only, meaning you register your username and wait for someone to invite you in. It’s only available on iOS. This alluring package of “exclusivity” and “opportunity” flagged Clubhouse on my radar last week. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last week inside the app observing as much as possible. This is what I’ve discovered:

The Pros

There is a lot to like (so far) about Clubhouse. I have been in rooms listening to people I probably would never have met in my professional or personal life and I’ve obtained an enormous amount of value in areas I’m interested in. Some examples:

  • I work in social media so I joined as many social media-related rooms I could with the hope of just listening in. Very quickly I was in a room with an extended panel of highly successful social media figures and it felt like I was privy to their actual secrets to success. Other listeners in the room asked some excellent questions which really added to the experience and the panel answered in a way that made you feel like no question was too big, small or seemingly stupid. I’ve been in a room with Gary Vee a few times, with people who run massive accounts in the NBA, to some of Australia’s leading social media figures and businesses.
  • I’ve been in a room with the entire film crew that curates the content for Will Smith’s social media and that was incredible. Not only was the insight fascinating, but the way this room was able to help people expand the limits of their creativity was invaluable.
  • I love music as a hobby and noticed a room titled “Let me introduce you to the music supervisor of Netflix, HBOMax, Disney+ and Hulu”. Naturally I was interested, but learnt about ‘sync’ which was something new to me entirely.
  • I was also in a room with A&R’s and Executives of Atlantic Records, one of the largest record labels in the world, and they were letting people play their demos and provided live feedback.

There are rooms for quite literally everything and if one doesn’t exist, you can create it. And because the app is so exclusive, the rooms aren’t overpopulated. The conversations feel authentic.

The Cons

I have noticed one glaring problem in the week I’ve used the app and it was also mentioned in a blog by Mark Schaefer. There are obvious similarities between Clubhouse and podcasts, most obviously the voice-only nature. However, for the value to be felt from Clubhouse, you need to have the time to spend on the app. Podcasts, however, are designed for convenience – you can listen when you have time. It’s a problem I see Clubhouse needing to solve in the near-future because if no one has time beyond this early novelty stage, then people won’t come back and those influential people who adopted early will leave. That will quickly impact Clubhouse’s value to audiences

Despite the looming concern I have, I can’t seem to pull myself away from the app and live-in fear of the opportunities or information I might be missing.

If you have some time each day and own an iOS device, definitely give it a try – let me know what you think. jordan@55comms.com.au