This month marks the one-year anniversary of ‘stay-at-home’ orders in the U.S. With all the time spent indoors and online, social media usage exploded (TikTok passed two billion downloads) and new apps emerged. Enter: Clubhouse, the newest social media app that’s taking media headlines by storm.
Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app where users take part in discussions known as “rooms.” Rooms are formatted like interactive podcasts, where anyone can take center stage. All conversations on the app are live and spontaneous (for now).
There’s a lot of buzz around Clubhouse being the “next killer smartphone app.” Here are four things you should know about the platform:
FOMO: Access to Clubhouse Is Alluring
To participate in this audio chat social network, users can either talk or listen. Rooms are never recorded so you either join in or miss out.
So far users really like the app, and engagement is extremely high. Even though it is in private-beta testing, the app is only available on iOS and access is controlled by a limited number of invitations, Clubhouse has managed to grow to ten million users and the numbers (and buzz) keep climbing. There’s definitely something to be said about the “FOMO” aspect of it all.
All rooms on Clubhouse are spontaneous and open, so no conversation is off limits. There is, however, a capacity limit. Just ask Elon Musk who hopped in on the app and (naturally) broke the 5,000 person limit that was in place at the time.
This is arguably one of Clubhouses’ most attractive aspects: users can ‘walk’ into a room where someone like Elon Musk is speaking. On any other platform you’d have to establish a tremendous following to engage with Elon Musk. On Clubhouse, all users have to do is show up and raise their hand.
The Clubhouse Community is Strong
The growth of Clubhouse (and even TikTok) is rooted in consumers’ desire for connection. Clubhouse is a place where whoever wants to be heard can be heard. Whatever a user’s expertise, they can host a chat or room to share it. Conversations are casual, insightful and surprisingly honest. We see a lot of potential in Clubhouse, as it shares TikTok’s appeal of authenticity and community.
Clubhouse offers the ability to connect with thought leaders and professionals and build a network outside of users’ industry, niche, or day to day. It also demonstrates just how much people want to connect and share with one another. Even in this initial phase, the community on Clubhouse is already strong with millions of daily active users.
Diversity: A Niche for All
Clubhouse is for everyone (who has an iPhone and can snag an invitation, that is). It started as a community for tech professionals, but every day new communities, like beauty or photography, emerge and are growing exponentially. There’s a wide array of topics – from 90’s basketball to how to practice your business pitch – happening live at any time.
For those that have an interest not yet represented on Clubhouse, the opportunity to create a new club on the topic and find interested or like-minded people is massive, especially with the new feature that Clubhouse recently announced, allowing users to create new clubs without the company’s approval.
Sharing Thought Leadership
At the moment, Clubhouse is a strong B2B and thought leadership platform; a space for industry professionals to share insights and have conversations in a casual setting. Think Zoom call or dinner party versus an industry conference.
We’re waiting to hear more about Clubhouse’s plans for monetization, but we see a future where brands may eventually be able to sponsor chats/clubs, similar to the podcasting model. In the meantime, there’s a huge opportunity right now for brands to listen in.
Users join “rooms” to hear from industry leaders – what they think, their advice and what the future holds. Clubhouse members embrace the learnings from honest conversations; the more real presenters are, the more popular their conversations tend to be. You might hear how brands have launched on TikTok, seen success on other social media platforms, or successfully launched new products. If you’re a smaller brand seeking guidance or an established brand looking for inspiration to rebuild relevance, this is a great place to find it!