What is Clubhouse?

18th Jan 2021

You may have popped in here after hearing on social media, or maybe a video call, talk about something called ‘Clubhouse’ and did a quick Google search to figure out if it was a boating or golf club everyone else was being invited to (except you). I say social media/video, because many people aren’t communicating in real life at the moment!

If so, hopefully I can give you a bit of an idea of what it is (TLDR: it’s NOT an exclusive golf OR boating club), whether it’s useful, and if it can potentially be applied to you or your business from a networking/growth standpoint. If nothing else, you’ll at least have a better idea of what Clubhouse is so that you can sound knowledgable when someone else mentions it, as you’re probably not going to be able to use it yet…

So, What is Clubhouse Then?

It’s listed as a ‘Drop-in audio chat’ app and some have billed it as the next big social media app. Think of it a bit like WhatsApp with just audio, no images or video and the ability to poke around in rooms to hear conversations and get involved in them. Yes, you are literally ‘talking’ to people (no fixing backgrounds or scheduling conflicts).

“ With no camera on, you don’t have to worry about eye contact, what you’re wearing, or where you are. You can talk on Clubhouse while you’re folding laundry, breastfeeding, commuting, working on your couch in the basement, or going for a run. “

It gives you the opportunity to speak to people you might never have had the chance to speak to, while adding some much-craved spontaneity to discovery. Which is a stark contrast to the current rounds of scheduled zoom meetings and endless Slack or Discord threads which you might feel obliged to catch up on.

It’ll be interesting to see how the app develops (and the rise of its inevitable competitors) to see how it changes social communication, which I’m sure will be heavily influenced by the current situation as people seek out less scheduled interactions.

Is it a better social media platform?

Well, it may become one but it’s really early days. One of the benefits of Clubhouse, aside from the obvious, is that (at least at the moment) there’s spontaneous discovery without the standard social media algorithms. The problem with current social media algorithms is that they can create echo chambers and automatically curate the type of content you see for their benefit (ie advertising) over the content your would actually want to consume. Some platforms get this better than others, but there’s no doubt they can create a more artificial view on the platform.

How this develops and how they monetise it remains to be seen, but at the moment it’s fairly unique so may be worth taking a look to see if it works the way you do.

Why Do You Need an Invite to Use Clubhouse?

Yes, that’s right, you need to be invited (but it’s still not a golf or boating club, honest). You can’t just sign up and start using it because they’ve limited the users using an invite system. This is due to wanting to “grow communities slowly rather than 10x-ing the user base overnight. This helps ensure that things don’t break” which is a key aspect of any startup (despite what you may read, 10x-ing growth isn’t always a good thing, especially at critical stages!)

The best way to get an invite is to know someone that is already on Clubhouse who has an invite to spare.

The other (slower) way is to download the app from the App Store and sign up to reserve your username and wait for an official invite. There’s also a third way…

The Exclusive backdoor way of getting an invite

Depending on how many people you know that have a Clubhouse account already, by reserving your username within the app the people who you know (and have your mobile number) could receive a notification that lets them invite you without using one of their invitations.

Who’s building it?

The Company behind it is Alpha Exploration Co, who, at the moment, are a small team of two guys called Paul and Rohan who are ex-Googlers (and other successful startups). To quote from their website:

“ We are a small team, and we haven’t yet finished building the features that will allow us to handle more people. Right now the two of us are the only full-time employees. “

How do I get the Clubhouse app?

Well, at the moment it’s a mobile app that’s only available on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) so if you have an invite but don’t have an i-thing you won’t be able to use it yet.

If you want to download it. You can get it from the App Store.

Is Clubhouse any good for business networking?

The premise of a drop-in audio chat could work well for networking groups, despite being billed as a ‘casual, drop-in audio conversation’ app.

At the moment ‘traditional’ networking seems a lifetime away. From in-person meetings, to Zoom/Teams calls in the space of a couple of months, and now to a potential shift to a different form of networking. Looks like we need to update our Networking Events Tips blog post, yet again!

There are obviously some teething problems and user-experience issues with the app itself, but that is to be expected given how early stage it is and the size of the team working on it.

As it develops I’m sure many users, businesses, networking groups and others will start to congregate in the app and use it as a basis for their own growth like any social media platform. Use-cases could include masterminds, mentoring systems and communities for those widely advertised ‘10x your growth courses’ 😉.

So should you be trying to get an invite? Well, only if you have an iPhone. If you don’t you’ll still probably want to register your username, that is if you want to reserve your jenny4romtheblock84 username on this new social platform too 😊.

What’s Reldesk?

We don’t have any integrations with Clubhouse yet (I think that may be a long way off!) but Reldesk itself, our Company Prospecting Tool and a host of other features and integrations with other tools can help grow your small business. No promises on 10x-ing it - at least not until the time is right!

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