It seems like everyone is talking about Clubhouse, the new app craze sweeping the world. Celebrities are flocking to it from Hollywood and Bollywood. Elon Musk and Mark Zuckberburg dropped in for a chat. But what is it and how does it work? Here are answers to 7 basic questions you might have.
What is Clubhouse?
It is a social media app that is audio only. That means: no writing, photos or videos on it. You can only listen or speak. Clubhouse was founded in 2020 by Rohan Seth and Paul Davison. In December, it had less than a million users, but now there are 6 million and more on it. Just in February alone, 2 million users joined up, according to the Washington Post.
Is it an app and is it free?
Yes, and yes. For now, it's only available for iPhones. The company has said that it is building up slowly but we don't know when it will be available on Android devices. If you have an iPhone, you can download the app from the App Store.
How do I use it?
Currently, Clubhouse is invite-only. You will need an invite from someone who is already on it to start using it. The company says they will open it up to everyone, regardless of whether they have an invite or not, but we don't know when that will be.
If you don't know anyone who can give you an invite, you can sign up for the waitlist after you download it.
Like all apps, you will need a username and photograph to sign up. Unlike Twitter, you cannot be anonymous and will need to use your real name. You can give the app permission to use your contact list which will help you find others on the app. You can follow them and they can follow you.
What do people do on it?
Clubhouse has several 'rooms' in it. Each room is like a WhatsApp group where people discuss specific topics. But unlike a WhatsApp group, rooms are temporary. Put another way, it is like being on a conference call.
You can choose to enter rooms or exit rooms whenever you wish, regardless of what people in it are talking about. You don't need an administrator to let you into a room. It is also a bit like entering a crowded cafe and participating in a conversation with strangers.
How can I begin to talk on Clubhouse?
There are two ways.
One, you tap on a 'raise my hand' icon in any room to ask permission to speak. The person in the room then has the option to give you permission to speak. This is a bit like an audio-only ZOOM call.
Two, You can also create your own room and begin talking about it. It makes sense to create a new room with at least one other person, rather than creating a room just by yourself. When you create a room, you have the option to either create an 'open' room (for everyone), or a 'social' room (for only those you follow) or a 'closed' room (where you choose people).
I am an introvert and I'm not sure if I want to speak. Is this app for me?
You won't know until you try it out. Some rooms have dozens or hundreds of people in it and you won't be noticed. Other rooms will have just a handful of people where you are more likely to stand out. You can always choose whether you want to speak or be silent. Before you enter a room, you can also check how many people are in it.
Is Clubhouse good for me?
Like all social media, there is plenty of good in Clubhouse. And there is likely to be plenty of bad in it. Like Twitter, FB and Instagram, you can follow people and have them follow back. Like other social networks, some people will have way more followers than you. Unlike other social networks though, you can create a room just for people like you and not worry about others.
It's too early to say much about Clubhouse. But unlike other apps that have come and gone, there are indications that Clubhouse is here to stay. For example, there are reports that Facebook is building a clone of Clubhouse, which shows that this idea has legs.
Updated On: 2021-02-12T19:24:00+05:30