Clubhouse Explained In 15 Questions | The Invite-Only Audio-Chat App

Clubhouse is an exclusive-only social networking app that is a hybrid of conference calls and talkback radio

Are you wondering why you’re hearing so much about Clubhouse? Are we allowed to blame the world’s richest man, Elon Musk? Well, I think we can, partially. By popping up in a Clubhouse room this week, he really did buy this service a lot of attention. Let’s answer some of your questions regarding this exclusive chat app. 

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Photo: Odd Anderson/AFP Getty Images

1. What is Clubhouse?

Imagine having an app on your phone that lets you listen in on other people’s live conversations (not in a creepy way). These people want to be heard. They may or may not be famous, interesting, or knowledgeable. And you may be given the opportunity to join the chat. Think of it as an audio-chat social network.

2. Are there pictures?

No. However, there are profile pictures for each user. 

3. What is Clubhouse used for?

In the Clubhouse app, you can listen to conversations and participate in the same. It is currently only available on iOS

4. Can you just sign up?

Not really. You need an invitation from an existing user to get access. 

5. It’s not on Android? Oh God, WHY!

The Android app is still a “work in progress”. The developers are in process of scaling up slowly. Since there are more Android users than iPhone users worldwide, starting on Android would have killed the Clubhouse servers after a publicity stunt (like having Musk in a room).

6. Is there’s a website too?

The only website the company has is joinclubhouse.com, and that’s simply a pointer to the Apple App Store.

clubhouse
(Photo by Christoph Dernbach/picture alliance via Getty Images)

7. How much of your data will Clubhouse want for a registration?

The Clubhouse app will need your phone number and your real name.

The person inviting you simply needs your phone number. You’ll get a link messaged to you, telling you to visit joinclubhouse.com/app, and you can sign in with that number.

You can link your Twitter account to Clubhouse if you don’t want to set up a profile from scratch.

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8. When did the Clubhouse app launch?

It was launched in March 2020 (along with COVID in the US!) It became a big deal to a select few in part because of its invite-only exclusivity, much like a real-world club membership.

The company behind Clubhouse—Alpha Exploration Co.—got a $12 million investment from Andreessen Horowitz after two months of existence. It was quickly worth $100 million—and it only had 1,500 users at the time. Although it is invite-only, now it’s open to a lot more just than investors.

9. What can you listen to on the app?

When you finally get access, the app offers a page full of conversational topics to follow, from sports to tech to world affairs to faith to “hustle” and so on. In each, you can find people interested in the same thing, and you can follow them. The more topics and people you follow, the more likely you are to get suggestions for a room that fits your desires.

10. How many people can be in a conversation?

The current limit is 5,000 people per Clubhouse room—which Musk busted through.

11. Are Clubhouse conversations permanent?

No, conversation rooms begin and end as people launch or exit from them. Nothing is really recorded. However, other members can find ways to record chats. After all, the internet is still forever.

12. Are they really like conversations or more like podcasts?

All the people involved are talking via their iPhones. They don’t see each other, so it really is like listening in on a phone call. There’s no professional editing, no sound effects, no transitions, and no advertising (not officially, yet).

The type of conversation is flexible: one room can be a casual one-on-one between friends, while another can be more of a formal talk-show-style interview. It can be a big group discussion or even a music-sharing session.

If someone interesting drops into a room—the creator/moderator can put them on the “stage” as a speaker.

13. Is this really like ‘Medium for Podcasts?’

Kind of. To an extent that it lets anyone create a room on the fly, without any promise of future conversations. But unlike Medium, there’s no record of it. AND there’s no way to monetize it. Yet.

14. Is it more like Zoom calls without videos?

The Clubhouse app isn’t really that, since the conversations are open to any member who can find it, not a select few. The virtual dais is limited, which hopefully only gives the floor to people, who have something important or interesting to say.

P.S.: Not having to look at the screen while you’re talking is such a fresh and nice change from today’s daily video calls.

15. Who all would be interested to use the app?

Clubhouse is for people who like to talk and miss having an audience. Like needy celebrities (oops!). Or people who want to be the fly-on-the-wall near interesting conversations. Eventually, as it grows and becomes a big deal, it may be a new medium we ALL have to keep an eye on.

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BONUS INFO!

There are celebrities on the app! Yes. Kevin Hart, Drake, Tiffany Haddish, and few others are using it currently.
In fact, the app has already become very popular in the black entertainment community.


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