About 2 months ago a friend asked me.. ‘What do you think about Clubhouse?’ I did not know what she was talking about as I had never heard anything about it. She then continued to send me an invite to this exclusive social media platform and with a little hesitation but with extreme curiosity I downloaded the app and joined.
Clubhouse is an invite and iOS only, audio only social media application that allows people to be in an audio chat room to discuss a variety of topics. The interest selection in the app allows you to select topics that you are interested in and personalize your experience within the app. There are multiple interests categories available for users to select, they range from Tech, Entertainment, Life, Languages, Wellness and even Sports. In each category you can choose what specific item you are interested in, for example in Tech – I subscribed to artificial intelligence and crypto currencies (in the spirit of our class) as well as Supply Chain and Blockchain. The app allows you to join a room or create your own.
Clubhouse describes itself as: “a new type of social product based on voice. It allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world.”
Clubhouse has grown significantly over the past few months. It currently has over 10 million weekly active users, which is a 16 x increase from the 600K users it had in December 2020. As of today, it has complered a Series C funding round led by Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz, with DST Global, Tiger Global and Elad Gil that values the company at $4 billion, tripling its valuation from January. Clearly, investors see the value in this platform and have high hopes for it.
I have to admit I was skeptical at first, I was not sure what to expect and if I would enjoy this type of social media. Little by little I started to get more and more into it. I found groups that I was interested in and joined them. I started joining rooms and listening to industry leaders and experts discuss topics of interests to me. One of my favorites is the “Supply Chain & Operations in The News” from the Supply Chain Technology were they discuss what is happening in the supply chain world.
The ability to listen to leaders engage in conversations is something I have enjoyed. Clubhouse is also being used by celebrities to promote their brands, for example MC Hammer recently joined a talk to discuss the rap music industry. The music manager Scooter Braun has used the app to promote his clients while discussing about the music industry.
My favorite talk/conversation so far (that I was able to listen in) was the Hanging w/ Bill Gates moderated by Andrew Ross Sorkin. The talk touched base on a range of topics, from the Covid pandemic and how the US has manages it to bitcoin and why he does not invest in as he prefers to invest in companies that builds products.
The wide variety of people and resources that are available are extremely valuable. I once described this is as having access to multiple conferences on a wide variety of topics at once. I definitely went from being a skeptical user who was intimidated to one that proactively looks for talks to learn more about topics I am curious about.
“Clubhouse is a platform with lots of potential as we, as users, have the opportunity to hear from leading voices and others interested is similar topics through an overwhelming breadth of discussions available”
-Ana Hurtado, Senior Strategist, Digital & Social Media
Other social media companies – Twitter, Spotify, Telegram, Discord, LinkedIn and Facebook are looking into adding similar features as Clubhouse to their platforms. Most recently, Facebook announced that they are working on new audio features called Live Audio Rooms that will allow users to engage in real time conversations and be available to everyone via the facebook and messenger app, estimated launch date of summer this year. Shockingly similar to what Clubhouse offers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned they have plans to continue to develop and invest in audio features over the coming years.
With competitors quickly developing similar features in well established platforms, I believe Clubhouse will still continue to grow and gain more popularity, especially with the pending release of the android app. If you are interested in joining Clubhouse and experiencing what this new app is all about but need a referral, please feel free to reach out me and I will happily share it with you!