Still using Instagram to ogle your favourite influencer beef? Keep up – all the cool kids are on Clubhouse these days.

This exclusive new social media platform was launched in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, but mere mortals aren’t able to simply create an account – it’s currently invite only as it is in the beta phase of testing.

Here’s the insider scoop on everything you need to know about the new app.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-only social media app that allows people from around the world to connect and talk.

According to its creators, “it’s a place to meet with friends and with new people around the world—to tell stories, ask questions, debate, learn, and have impromptu conversations on thousands of different topics.” 

The app was founded in May 2020 and was reportedly valued at $100 million (£73m) at that time. It was also reported in December that it currently has 600,000 registered users.  

What it is like once you’re in?

When you open the app, you can see “rooms” full of people talking. These are all ‘open’, meaning you can enter each room to eavesdrop on conversations as an audience member. 

If you want to say something, you need to raise your hand and speakers can choose to invite you in, or you can mute on entry. Alternatively, you can create a room of your own.

The app is also voice-only – there’s no video, so you don’t need to worry about what you’re wearing to get involved. It works like voicenotes.

Who uses Clubhouse?

Kanye West is a Clubhouse user

(Buzz Foto/Rex Features)

Celebrities love the exclusivity offered by Clubhouse. 

Current known users include Kanye West, Drake, Oprah, Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Hart.

Elsewhere, it’s proved a hit with ‘high status’ types, such as Silicon Valley staff who like its networking capabilities, influencers and media folks.

What does it mean for social media drama?

Conversations can’t be saved or recorded through the app, so part of its appeal is the freedom with which people – particularly high-profile celebrities – can talk openly. 

It’s impossible to know who’s really listening, however – and conversations could theoretically be recorded using additional devices, so approach with caution. There are Clubhouse community guidelines and rules as well for users to follow. 

But it’s not just about gossip, Clubhouse has been used for everything from discussions on race and history, to audition rooms for musical Hamilton where users sang and had a chance to win tickets to see the show in London. Dreamgirls got in on the action too.

How do I join?

The million dollar question. As the app remains in beta testing mode, access to the app is invite only, at present. 

Each new member is granted one invite, so if you already know someone who’s a member, it might be a good time to get in touch. And if you’re an iPhone user, you can download the app and reserve a username.

On its website, Clubhouse says “we are working hard to open things up soon!”

Clubhouse insists that “it’s not intended to be exclusive” and that it’s working to make it available to everyone, citing a desire to “build community slowly” and “prepare features that will help it handle larger numbers of people.”



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