Clubhouse App: The New Audio-Chat Social Network

Who’s ready for the ultimate guide to Clubhouse App? 

I’ve been tasting and exploring the app for months now. Therefore, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what it is, so far. I know a lot of you have questions about the app although for some of you, the app isn’t available in your country.  So, I took note of your most common questions and made this guide. Feel free to bookmark this page and come back after you’ve secured your first Clubhouse App invite. 

Clubhouse App Overview

Is Usage Free? 

Yes, but you’ll need an invite to join.

Is The App Available On Both iOS And Android?

No, so far it’s iOS only. That may be because there are more Android users than iPhone users worldwide and the app wants to scale slowly. Initially, there were only 1,500 Clubhouse app users and they were only allowed one invite at a time. Even with these restrictions, the app now has over one million users. If the founders were to open Clubhouse up to Android users, that would more than double their potential user base.  An event like the Elon Musk interview would have crushed their servers–and not in a good way. But, we’ll get back to that later in the guide. 

How to Use Clubhouse App

If Twitter is the town square, Clubhouse is the dinner table. The Guardian has called it, “A way for people to socialize amid the pandemic. [It’s] A social networking app based on audio chat. Part talkback radio, part conference call, part Houseparty.” Those are a few different comparisons so I’ll break it down a little more. 

What Does The App Offer?

We all know the pandemic has been hard, so the social aspect of the app is a given. Yes, it’s similar to the app houseparty but it’s also similar to an everyday houseparty. It’s a social network in the purest sense of the word. Using Clubhouse is like walking around a party, or an event conference. You can hear the live conversations of others, and/or join a conversation that you find interesting. Also, nothing is saved on Clubhouse, it is literally “drop in audio”, which adds to its FOMO element. If you don’t log in one day, you could potentially miss out on some interesting conversations. 

To break down the “talkback radio” comment (especially for the readers from later generations), Clubhouse app is similar to calling into a radio station where you can ask someone you admire a question. Or, maybe confront someone you think isn’t a good role model.

Breaking this down further, a lot of celebrities use the app. This makes some outlets label the app as having a “pretentious, clout-chasing” atmosphere; saying it’s primarily for, “people who like to talk and miss having an audience—like needy celebrities—or lurkers who want to be the fly-on-the-wall near interesting conversations”. However, the reality is much more nuanced than that. 

It’s rare for a celebrity like Kevin Hart or an entrepreneur like Elon Musk to get to have a conversation with thousands of people, all at the same time. Of course, they could give a magazine an interview or address their fans directly via Instagram Live or Twitter, but Clubhouse offers them a platform to speak with fans and critics alike instantly. In that way, it’s like an instant, smaller version of iHeartRadio or the Breakfast Club. If they walk past a Clubhouse room where they are the topic of discussion, they can join the room and take center stage themselves. Or, they can host and moderate their own Q&A and bring out/interview guests of their own. Kevin Hart and Elon Musk, respectively, did that–and that is the power of Clubhouse. 

How Many People Can Be In A Conversation?

Up to 5,000 can be in a single room at any given time. The capacity can be increased for a special event, like the Elon Musk Q&A. Of course, the more people in a room the more difficult it would be to talk. Think of it like the difference between joining a conversation between two people versus trying to get a question answered at a 2,500 person conference. Both experiences are possible with Clubhouse. The difference is, Clubhouse is pure audio chat and you can have these conversations from the comfort of your own home.

How To Invite People To The App/ To Chat

How do you get on Clubhouse? The short answer is: know someone who is already on the app. You see, initially, existing users were given one invite (now it’s two or three) to share with a close friend or someone they were sure could really benefit from the app/social network. That’s still true, but existing users are also given more invites as they continue to engage with the app. This means that it’s likely some people now have a surplus of invites–so, don’t be afraid to network on social media in order to see who might have an extra invite for you. Since the app is still in beta, it’s still invite only, which means there isn’t really a way around needing to know someone with access to the app or networking with someone you follow on social media. But, as with all parties, there is a back door.

Let’s say you do know a lot of friends who are already on the app, but they’ve already given out all of their invitations. If that is the case, click on the website, and add your phone number to the waiting list. Then, download the app so you can reserve your username. Depending on how many of your friends are existing users of Clubhouse, they might receive a notification telling them that you’ve reserved your username and that you’ve downloaded the app. When this happens, they’ll get the option to wave you through, giving you access to the app, even if they don’t have an official invitation to send. 

Also, this option allows existing users to save their invitations for someone who might not have access to the “back door” feature of the app because it doesn’t use up invitations they already have. So, if your friend has one invite and is trying to decide between you and her cousin in Idaho, if you already have a few friends on the app, she can open up the “back door” for you and save the invite for her cousin. 

Clubhouse Profile Setup

Okay, so now you’re in Clubhouse. You’ll soon find out there’s space for everyone: Silicon Valley VCs, influencers, celebrities, marketers, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, journalists, creatives, and everyone in between. As this is one of the first social media platforms that’s solely based on audio chat, you may wonder what or how to set up your profile. Our friends at Social Media Examiner have compiled this handy guide, but I’ll break it down a little more.

Of course, you should have an interesting profile picture. Don’t worry too much about it being “professional” or “creative”, just make it authentic to you (and make sure it’s sized correctly). Then write your bio. You could make it funny or serious, depending on what your goals are. However, if you prefer to be straightforward, the first three lines (about 125 characters) are super important. Those are the first three lines someone will see in their preview window when you click on their profile.

While there is no character limit, Clubhouse will send you a notification if your bio is too long. So, keep these words clear and concise. 

Linking Other Social Networks with Clubhouse

You can link your Instagram account and Twitter profile to your Clubhouse profile. It’s a pretty straightforward process if you’re used to social media platforms, but check out the guide linked above if you’d like a step by step breakdown. 

How To Build Your Brand/Business With Clubhouse 

Here’s the big question, can you build a brand with Clubhouse? Is it a feature or is it a platform? Does it have staying power? My answer? I think clubhouse is incredible and I’m very bullish on this format. 

Twitter is already testing a competitor and I predict Facebook and Instagram are going to re-create this “audio drop in” format as a feature. Clubhouse could possibly become the next TikTok or LinkedIn. Therefore, it’s wise to get familiar with how to navigate the audio landscape.

via GIPHY

If you’re asking those questions from the perspective of, “Is this worth my time”, let me explain, right now, that this app/social network has a lot of attention as well as a lot of very intriguing people in the community (more on that later). It’s a good use of your time whether Clubhouse is huge in a year or not, because  the time you spend there, right now, while it’s hot, is valuable. Most people worry about it going away but everything goes away eventually. It’s about maximizing attention, building reputation and community,  while it’s hot.

How do you do that? Well, if you have the app, are you listening or are you contributing? You have to taste all sides of it to figure it out. Don’t let your ego get in the way. So many of you have so much value to add to a conversation. I’m pushing you, as a friend, to contribute to one room. It’s not just about passive listening (although that’s valuable too). If I had the time, I would spend every minute I could on Clubhouse–building community.  It is the platform to engage and Clubhouse gives everyday people access to those they normally wouldn’t have met otherwise. 

Celebrities Who Used Clubhouse

It’s no secret that many celebrities and influencers are fans of the app and social network. Everyone from Jared Leto to Tiffany Haddish to Drake has a Clubhouse profile and that’s part of the app’s appeal. In fact, Clubhouse is notable for popularity among Black celebrities, with Tiffany Haddish being one of the first celebrities to hit one million followers on the app and Buzzfeed news calling it the “place to be” for Black creatives. Although the app has recently been banned in China, the app’s international reputation has grown there as well as Korea, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Below is a small list of every celebrity that reportedly has used Clubhouse app:

Madonna, 21 Savage, Meek Mill, Drake, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Jared Leto, Zendaya, Virgil Abloh, Ashton Kutcher, Oprah Winfrey, Estelle, Kanye West, Horan, Mino, Gong Hyo-jin, (and many many more).

Overall, Clubhouse app is here and it’s changing social media. Right now it’s invite only, but I’m excited to see how it changes as it scales to fit the consumer appetite. It’s clear there’s so much attention on the app right now. Whether or not you’re able to day trade on that attention will be up to you.

Thanks for reading! If you’ve enjoyed this article, it would mean a lot to me if you shared it on Twitter!

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