Every so often a new app becomes the toast of Silicone Valley, everyone is talking about it, everyone is using, everyone is calling it ‘the new Uber.’ Eventually, it trickles down to us plebs, and we get a taste of this trendy-tech right before it goes out of style.
This is the sacred space that Clubhouse finds itself occupying, the subject of much hyper and even more mystique. Best described as an audio-driven social networking app Clubhouse aims to cherry-pick the best parts of pre-existing apps and combine them into a new ultra-exclusive social network.
What is Clubhouse?
An audio conversation app that was created in March 2020 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth. Essentially it’s a platform that hosts live podcasts but with the added bonus that Clubhouse is invite-only.
Once you’ve nailed down an invite, you can start or listen to conversations in digital “rooms.” Conversations happen in real-time, and if you’re not online when the chat happens then too bad, you’ve missed your shot.
The other drawcard is that conversations often take place between heavy hitters. The list of famous Clubhouse users includes Oprah, MC Hammer, Drake, Estelle, Tiffany Haddish, Kevin Hart, Jared Leto, Meek Mill, Van Jones, Aston Kutcher, and many other Silicone Valley entrepreneurs.
No posts, no photos, no videos – just audio.
Listening to @virgilabloh on @joinClubhouse talk about visiting skate shops was the coolest thing ever. Support your local skate shop!
— Rad Sechrist (@radsechrist) December 31, 2020
How do I join?
Users can only access the app if they invited by a current Clubhouse member, which ensures that Cubhouse maintains an air of hyper-exclusivity, crucial in today’s “I want what you have” digital marketplace. If you are invited, you’ll see a link texted to your phone number, directing you to a sign-up page in the app. Each new user is given two invites available when they sign up.
However, there are plans to open the Clubhouse floodgates with the founders recently announcing that their 2021 goal is to “open up Clubhouse to the whole world.”
Currently, Clubhouse invites are hot property with reports that they’re up for sale on eBay and Reddit.
Clubhouse invites going for $125 on eBay pic.twitter.com/slTnNyq7l2
— Alex Kantrowitz (@Kantrowitz) February 11, 2021
How is Elon Musk involved?
It should raise exactly zero eyebrows that the Tesla creator has his fingerprints all over this new technology. Musk has been involved with Clubhouse since the early days, but he helped put the app on the map when he held a chat with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev.
Just agree to do Clubhouse with @kanyewest
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 10, 2021
This proved to be a zeitgeist moment for both Tenev and Clubhouse, fresh off the back of the GameStop phenomenon. In the days proceeding the chat, Clubhouse rocketed to the top of the app charts, and people started writing articles like the one you’re reading right now.
Musk isn’t the only tech-billionaire to pop up on Clubhouse, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared in a room last week to discuss the future of technology. Ironically, the New York Times reported that Facebook is now building its own version of the chat app.
Facebook is building an audio chat product to compete with Clubhouse https://t.co/Il7WQ99ddm
— Lia Haberman (@liahaberman) February 10, 2021