Are you feeling left out of the Club(house)?
2020 has introduced us to a new invite-only and audio-based app that is creating FOMO among Social Media users: Clubhouse.
Some call it a secret (digital) society and others compare it to a live podcast conversation or a TED Talk panel with a Q&A feature. In my opinion, Clubhouse provides all the above: an interactive and chaotic experience that can be very closely compared to real-life debates.
No unnecessary features
Surprisingly, it has a very simple User Experience that is straight-forward and does not contain too many unnecessary features. Clubhouse lets users engage in themed chat rooms (audio only), where speakers talk about a particular topic ‘on stage’. On the other side, listeners can raise their hands so that moderators can un-mute them and welcome them as a speaker.
So what does make the app stand out? As previously stated, it is an invite-only environment where inquiries are extremely limited. Once you’re admitted, you can find yourself in rooms with literally anyone (think celebrities like Oprah Winfrey or Virgil Abloh) and attend exclusive discussions that usually don’t go beyond the app. In addition, you can easily hop from room to room and join certain ‘clubs’ where you can enter into more niche conversations with people from your field or similar interests. It can go as far as you want: clubs that host daily morning miracle sessions, rooms for introverts to meet in a safe environment, silent network rooms, and virtual pubs where lo-fi music is played 24/7.
Once you have a close-knit group on the app, you are free to create private rooms to spearhead your weekly catch-up or pretend you’re at the pub on a typical (pre-Covid) Friday night. — Vogue
A pool of opportunities
From live acoustic performances, songwriting camps, fan groups based around a single artist to debriefing rooms after a film premiere (with or without actors of that screening). In short, I feel there are numerous potentials for the music and entertainment industry.
Over the Christmas period in 2020, a live performance of “The Lion King” took place where a total of +3K listeners worldwide were witnessing this at the same moment. A full cast and choir were entirely auditioned through a Clubhouse casting process. Next to that, listeners could ‘Pull To Refresh’ to get visuals from each scene. This means cast members changed their profile picture during the performance to create a more engaging experience.
Discussions that go beyond the app
On the other hand, of course, there are stumbling blocks, such as chat rooms that are not properly moderated and devolve into bullying behavior. In late November 2020, for example, there was an incident where Kevin Hart got caught up in a Clubhouse discussion about his latest Netflix show that quickly became very ‘heated’. As the app is still in the beta testing phase, incidents like this are being taken into account.
I have to admit that the application is trending at exactly the right moment. The moment that everyone is yearning for some form of social contact is being fulfilled here. Real meaningful conversations at a distance, without that Zoom fatigue we all know by now. A bit intimidating at first, but once you are in a room about a topic that really interests you and that you want to talk about, you will spontaneously feel the itch to go on stage…
PS: Still a stage-virgin.