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What is Clubhouse 

  • Clubhouse is a real-time audio-based social network 
  • Clubhouse lets you create and join “rooms,” where you can then chat with others in a big conference call. It’s just audio & you can drop in and out of rooms at any time. 
  • Once the conversations are over the room closes and 
  • There’s a lot of discussion around start-ups and clubhouse itself. But there’s also NBA watch parties and 
  • Clubhouse is like crack for big LinkedIn users – I see it as an audio extension of LinkedIn. 
  • It reminds me of twitter when hashtags started being a thing – which again reminds me that twitter couldve and shouldve done this first 

Who’s behind it? 

  • The company recently raised around $100 million in Series B funding led by existing investor Andreessen Horowitz, valuing the company at $1 billion 
  • Founders are Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth. who have been working on social products for a decade, with little success. According to Business Insider, the pair have at least nine failed apps between them, including Talkshow, their first collaboration and the predecessor to Clubhouse. Clubhouse was their “one last try” to crack the social graph

Who’s on Clubhouse? 

  • Well apart from Elon Musk and other Silicon Valley types … 
  • Theres a lot of talk about Marc Andressen wanting to side step the media – i think thats part of the appeal of Clubhouse
  • In a post Trump world, we’re seeing more people like Elon Musk ignore trad media and speak directly to followers. Just like Trump, Elon has stepped in trouble with tweets, but it hasn’t seemed to impact him too much
  • Clubhouse has been downloaded about 4.7 million times to date since launching in September according to Apptopia. Growth is accelerating:
  • It hit 1 million downloads at the end of last year, per Apptopia. For now, it’s only available on iOS. 
  • Access still requires an invite. I joined without an invite, I just signed up last Friday and 20 minutes later one of my LinkedIn contacts had vouched for me and I got a notification that my account was ready” 

First Impressions?   

  • The app icon is weird compared to every other icon on my homescreen
  • I really don’t know what I’m doing in there. But I don’t feel old like when I was using house party. I’ve clicked on notifications, been taken directly to a room and freaked out because I don’t know why I’m there. 
  • If you’ve got limits on your phone about how long you can use social media, Clubhouse will burn through those limits really quickly. 

Why Audio-first? Who’s the competition? 

All the possible downsides 

  • Clubhouse is facing the same content moderation dilemmas as other social networks, in that someone can get into a room and say whatever they like which could be harassment, misinformation or something else defamatory. 
  • According to Mashable, Clubhouse provides no immediate way for users to delete their accounts. Instead of an option to do so in the app itself, or via the company’s website, Clubhouse’s privacy policy states that users need to email the company a deletion request.
  • If you want to leave don’t just delete the app, be sure to close up the account so the company isn’t holding on to your data – including your entire contact list. 

Should you have FOMO if you’re an Android user or languishing on the waitlist? 

As Kara Swisher said on the most recent Pivot – if I was Clubhouse, I’d sell fast. It’s very pretty, but it’ll be destined to be “whatever happened to clubhouse” in six months.