CLUBHOUSE: THE INVITE-ONLY AUDIO APP EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT
What is Clubhouse, and why haven’t we used it yet? That is probably the discussion being had in marketing and digital departments around the world as you read this.
From Elon Musk to Mark Zuckerberg, it is the social app of 2021 as audio becomes the newest way in which to engage with your fellow humans in a time when face-to-face conversations are something we can only hope to do in the near future.
It’s not only exploding in the UK and US either, around the world it is becoming the most discussed app of 2021 with Brazil, India and many other countries getting very excited about it’s possibilities.
The new new social media site that has built its credibility on not only being voice-only but also its exclusivity. So exclusive in fact, you can only access this new platform by invitation and it’s also currently only available on iOS. However, this invitation-only policy could soon be reversed after it raised $340m in a new round of funding, so expect to see it on Android pretty soon.
As of May 2020, this innovative new site had a mere 1,500 users but still had an value of an astounding $100 million. Fast forward to February 2021, it now has 2 million users with an approximate value of $1 billion!
So, what is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is recognised as a social networking app focused on audio. It helps you to switch to various chats based on different topics. It acts like a live, free-flowing broadcast for its users. Allowing you to listen to other users or talk to the world about your thoughts. The opportunity to socialise and meet new people, similar to a party, prompted them to come up with the name Clubhouse.
A new type of social product based on voice [that] allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world.Clubhouse
This app is described as being somewhere between a podcast and a radio talk show. It helps people to build conversations, panel discussions, and even conferences on any topic they desire – something that is ruffling feathers in China as they rushed to shut down access to it after rooms were set up to talk about Taiwan and other no go areas.
This social networking app is changing the conventions of social media platforms, so much so that the word ‘influencer’ is slowly transforming to ‘moderator’. Another interesting and common feature of this app is its multi-room system that allows you to lock or unlock chats. This guarantees privacy for all users when needed and ensures that discussions are not documented.
How do I join?
You can’t currently join the app without an invitation from a registered user. However, the company is said to further grow the app in order to make it available to the public. We may be waiting for this creation for a while, as they want to continue building up a loyal audience. The organisation will also develop the platform to facilitate a large rise in users when the application is open to everyone.
We are building Clubhouse for everyone and working to make it available to the world as quickly as possibleClubhouse
Can it be the next big platform for sports?
Clubhouse has a wide range of formats that users can enjoy. There is, for example, a ‘fireside chat’ style. This helps people to be interviewed, much like a meeting. As well as panels, more participants will be able to answer questions. But it’s also a chance to get involved.
Having started to test it out you initially might want to sit there and listen to what the experts are talking about, as you do on a podcast. But you do need to be prepared to get involved, especially in smaller rooms. It is a bringing together of people with the same interests, and then talking about it for an hour or more with lots of opinions and questions coming from many different sources.
This will be a perfect opportunity for broadcasters, influencers and journalists in the sports industry. This format could be used to gain insight behind the scenes, pre-game or after game chats and interactions with ex-players. The prospects for the sports media industry are infinite. It adds value to the application for sports fans as they can gain more information and build a forum to discuss and exchange views with real players and other users.
The application’s easy to find, freely accessible sessions and chats make it the perfect place to start sporting communities. Particularly after almost a year of self-isolation and lockdowns, we are constantly trying to connect across social media to entertain and interact with others. Whether you want to create a room to discuss a certain team, player or even talk ticket dates you can find others and ask questions via Clubhouse.
There are so many chances for people in the media to claim. While sports fans will benefit a lot from this app, sports clubs might wait to see how they could benefit from the app and whether it could become a source of revenue.
But one team who has taken a small leap onto Clubhouse is Brazilian team Athletico Paranaense, who will allow fans to follow their game against Corinthians (10th Feb) through the app. It’s perhaps not the most engaging way to use the app, but it’s a step into a new realm to test it out and then decide if they want to do more.
The application is new and we are likely to see several developments in its design. Perhaps the application could consider allowing users to buy tickets for matches in order to inspire clubs to engage in this platform. Due to the unlimited advancements, I’m sure we’ll hear a lot from Clubhouse in the coming months.
It certainly looks like it will take on TikTok’s mantle of being the social platform of the year, but the bigger players are already making their own moves. Twitter had already started to test out Spaces last year and that programme will now be accelerated. Twitter feels like the right platform to do this as it has always been built around news, reaction and opinion (not all of it healthy) and it will be another part of the app that will be worth testing out, and may well suit the sports clubs and leagues better.
Enjoy testing it out!