There’s a new social network out there making the rounds—it’s called Clubhouse, and specifically, people are using it to network, find like-minded people, and learn more about things that interest them. We are usually wary of buzzwords like “the next big thing in networking,” but this app might actually be the real deal!
Clubhouse is an invitation-only audio-chat social networking app—it launched in April 2020 and has been steadily gaining steam with a variety of professionals. Originally, it was mostly Silicon Valley workers; and late last year, the app nearly crashed as a result of Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerburg joining Clubhouse. Clubhouse draws a somewhat elite user base, due to the invite-only caveat to joining the app. Some people are selling invites on eBay from $30-$2,000—your best bet is to reach out to someone already on the platform.
So, here’s the scoop: people gather in audio chat rooms in two groups, those speaking and those listening. It’s not like Twitter, though, where anyone can say anything—there are moderators who control the room. It’s a hierarchy where you need permission to speak and if you get unruly or inappropriate, you can be booted out of the room. There’s also no anonymity, you must be verified as yourself using your phone number.
Some of the big names on Clubhouse include Silicon Valley venture capitalists (Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, both early investors in the app), web-savvy entrepreneurs (Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss), a smattering of performers and cultural influencers (Tiffany Haddish, Virgil Abloh) and people with claims to fame (Vanilla Ice, Roger Stone). The app has a “it’s a small world” feeling, especially when you find yourself in the same chat room as Drake or Senator Tim Kaine.
A little sample of the topics that the chat rooms are offering: Networking, weight training, retiring early, pitching investment opportunities, Bitcoin (literally every topic about Bitcoin you can imagine), theater (scripted and unscripted), dating scenes, comedy shows, forming creative spaces for Black fashion designers, Karaoke (singing and discussing it), and so much more.
When you join from your personal invite link, you download the app, add your phone number, confirm the number, add your first and last name (and get a sweet little reminder “people use their real names here”), choose a username and profile picture, then sync your contacts and follow suggestions for influencers on the app. Now you’re ready to join your first room! You do get a reminder that you only have two invites to hand out, so choose wisely.
Clubhouse is still in beta, so currently, only iOS users can join.