In the Club…house

What is Clubhouse? It’s the latest, and currently the hottest social network. Think of it as a live audio-only interactive Podcast. It’s the first social network based exclusively on voice. Members from around the world can come together to chat, listen and learn in real-time. There are no taped archives.

I’ve been on board for a few weeks now, and thought it might be useful for me to provide some first impressions and a quick, summary overview.

Clubhouse is currently only available for Apple, and is invite-only. (It’s not that hard to secure an invitation, though). It’s an app that has created communities that are great places to share resources and know-how.  Clubhouse provides a “safe space” format that fosters collaboration more than competition.

Who’s on Clubhouse? there are certainly luminaries like Elon Musk, Tiffany Haddish and Grant Cardone as well as a lot of tech CEOs. You can essentially eavesdrop on their conversations, and occasionally join in (if permitted to do so). The app sends you notifications and you can follow people you are interested in.

While the main attraction of Clubhouse may seem to be to hear what various influencers are talking about, there are thousands of Clubs you can join which have regular meetings. It used to take a few weeks of membership to be eligible to form a Club, but now they have what they call “Insta-Clubs” which means that any member can create one as long as you’ve been on for a week.

Since we all have plenty of audio only conference calls every day, what are some of the potential other uses for Clubhouse?

One example, theater fans looking for a Broadway fix have found a platform for actors and artists around the world to connect and even perform. While live audio drama takes us back to the early days of radio, Clubhouse’s theatre groups have modernized the concept and revolutionized the way the platform could be used, potentially.

I was invited to join Clubhouse by a Twitter influencer, which led me to believe that it was an audio version of Twitter initially, but as I got on board, I learned plenty of the millions of users came from Instagram—and other social platforms, too.

While Clubhouse showed huge growth in January and February, the daily number of downloads from the app store dropped sharply in March. That doesn’t mean that Clubhouse is going to become another Vine. No doubt, the influx of new users when Android compatibility is achieved will help buoy Clubhouse again. Clubhouse is still very much in the painful growth stages of Beta testing. But as a medium, it’s worth keep an eye on—or rather, keeping an ear out for….