March 10, 2021

What is Clubhouse? The invite-only social media app explained

If you’ve been in any online space recently, from your Instagram feed to the daily news, you’ve probably noticed the buzz about Clubhouse. Established in 2020, the app is suddenly everywhere, with social media influencers and marketing gurus alike talking it up.

But if you know anything about it, your research might have stopped short for one sneaky little reason: it’s an invite-only app!

What is Clubhouse, and why is it earning so much attention? Here’s what you should know about the app that’s taking the virtual world by storm.

What Is Clubhouse?

At its heart, Clubhouse is a voice-chatting social networking app. It allows people to gather in audio-only chat rooms to discuss their topic of choice, from health and wellness to business to books. Like many other apps, you’ll get started by picking out your interests, and the app will recommend conversations to join from there.

Think of it like a giant conference call: users hop into a room to talk with each other, often with many more people listening in than talking. (Users mention a “TED Talk vibe.”) But unlike many popular services, once the conversation is over and the room closes, there’s no way to get that audio back—much like what once happened in the early days of Snapchat.

Who Uses Clubhouse?

The uniqueness of this social media app is, of course, the audio-only feature. But there’s one other thing it has going for it: several big names.

People like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Oprah Winfrey have hosted conversations within the app, inspiring its boom in popularity. That’s in addition to well-known entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban or cultural influencers like Kevin Hart, Drake, and Virgil Abloh. 

All in all, the app has a little over 10 million users and counting. 

So How Do I Get In?

First things first: if you have an Android phone, you’re already out of luck. Clubhouse is an iPhone-only app, though CEO Paul Davidson has confirmed that the app will eventually be open to Android users as well.

Next, as mentioned above, is the fact that this app is invite-only. You’ll need to know someone who already has an account. You can also go ahead and download the app itself, putting your name on the waiting list to get in. However, the list seems to be lengthy, and there are no confirmations on how long it will take to get in that way.

If all else fails, you can pay for an invite online: eBay is teeming with invites, though it will run you around $20-50!

Is the app worth it? Well, the exclusivity is pretty tempting, and when someone tells us we can’t have something, it often only makes us want it more. There’s also no denying that networking is a pretty important business. But if you’d rather avoid this latest viral rush—or at least wait until the app opens to more of the general public—you can’t go wrong with traditional virtual interactions. Find a quieter group you can really communicate with, reach out to a mentor, or join our community for more intimate connections.


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