As originally seen on Forbes
A new social media platform has been sweeping the Internet, but with it comes an air of mystery and confusion that comes from one thing: scarcity.
You can’t just join Clubhouse; you have to be invited by someone who is already a user.
Much like a country club or the Bohemian Grove, somebody who is already a part of the ‘clubhouse’ has to say, ‘Hey, this person is cool, let them on in,’ with the app’s code acting as a bouncer.
The podcasting industry is expected to pass one billion dollars this year; and the creators of Clubhouse decided to turn podcasts on their head and make them into an interactive experience.
How does it work?
The app (currently only available on iPhone/IOS devices) consists of a multitude of ‘rooms’ centered around different topic influencers. For instance, if you looked up me on Clubhouse, I’d probably be chatting about LinkedIn or the the business development opportunities in Clubhouse.
But, because the rooms are defined by who is speaking, it continues the air of exclusivity. You’ll get a notification that Adrian, Lindsey, and Gavin are speaking in a room, but there’s no topic listed, and if you didn’t know who we were, you’d have no idea whether or not to join.
One of my favorite things to do on the app so far is to just join rooms with people I don’t know and listen in on what they’re talking about. I’ve heard everything from the technical challenges the Perseverance will face on Mars, the best way for AI to take over the stock market, and the best way to make a grilled cheese. Think: talk radio, but you can potentially join the conversation or end up leading the conversation.
When I’m just listening in, I found the app to be similar to a podcast. I’m listening to a couple of people have a conversation about something that I find interesting.
Chiming into the conversation is as easy as clicking a button, making the podcast experience into an active conversation with which I’m involved. You set yourself as a speaker than raise you ‘virtual’ hand, indicating that you have something to say.
I have found that the Clubhouse community is exceedingly polite and always will listen to someone’s words, even if they don’t know who they are yet. At first glance, Clubhouse seems to have a leveling effect that allows anybody with something intelligent to say to have a voice. It is very open in the same way that Twitter is open.
How do I get an invite?
Getting an invite may seem a bit impossible or mysterious, but I guarantee you’ll be able to get on there. At first, each user was only given a single invite to share, so they had to dole it out wisely, but as the platform gets larger and larger, current users are provided with several invites and more are on the way if you the people you invite actually join.
I personally got mine from Bill Boulden so huge shoutout to him. He is basically my father on Clubhouse, and I invited Seth Weinert who would be Bill’s grandson on Clubhouse. I just made that up, it isn’t actually a thing on Clubhouse, but you get the idea. Who invites you does remain on your profile seemingly indefinitely, so it Clubhouse does seem to be playing up this aspect of influencers inviting and getting “credit” in terms of bragging rights for inviting other influencers.
How do I onboard?
To be honest, getting an invite is the toughest thing about getting started on Clubhouse. After you download the app, it’ll ask you to enter your real name, which is imperative. Handles and pseudonyms don’t have a place on Clubhouse.
Then, you add a profile photo, which is used when people are notified that you are speaking in a room.
Moving forward, Clubhouse has a lot of potential to change the social media space, moving it from text-based to audio-based.
I can’t wait to talk about the app more in the future. Keep an eye out over the next two weeks for more content relating to Clubhouse business opportunities and different user experiences. Still can’t find an invite? I have five left, but if you want one, you have to promise to give Clubhouse a try. Message me on Twitter @adriandayton
As originally seen on Forbes