Let's talk about Clubhouse
Launched in spring 2020 by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, the new digital platform clubhouse has shown all the potential of their culture of secrecy. On invitation only, and only available on IOS, this social network is maybe one of the most exclusive clubs at the moment. By triggering frustration, this exclusivity created a real hype around this new sensation branded « Silicon Valley ».
What is this new trend that is given a voice ?
Beyond the COVID 19 pandemic, 2020 will also be remembered as the year of podcasts. While the number of episodes have been skyrocketing on all the platforms, it is quite clear that this new plethoric offer is meeting its audience. Furthermore, it seems that the voice as a medium has been part of our connected lives for quite some time now, whether as short voice notes or online conferences.It is thus quite natural to see the success of a platform dedicated to this modern medium.
Clubhouse is an application that streams live audio conversations in groups. During the first steps of what looks like a typical onboarding process, users are invited to create a profile and to follow other profiles depending on their interests and taste. The Clubhouse experience is original because it uses the voice as the pivotal element of its content strategy. Indeed, you can only share vocal content on the platform.
Once the profile is completed, every user can explore theme-related chatrooms or create their own room, with a 5000 listener capacity, in order to connect with one another. Or at least, if you get the opportunity to talk…
A more human experience
Clubhouse is leading a very harsh hunt against fake or troll profiles who come and pollute chat rooms. This is why every user is compelled to provide its true identification details. Leaving the tone of voice as only means of expression, the application leads people to open up much more easily, thus breaking the protective distance linked to the screen or the image. It generates a natural moderation effect on most users, for it is more difficult to spread obnoxious messages when you cannot hide. Every chatroom therefore conveys a powerful community experience.
By preventing users to record sessions or share content, Clubhouse is playing the immediacy card and is triggering a fear of missing out on a capital moment. In this new place to be, users are actually rushing when rooms open, hoping to avoid getting turned down in the case of a « sold out » event.
The community already became famous during a recent musical session dedicated to covers of Lion King songs. Quickly becoming viral, the event showed how powerful the human voice could be when it comes to gathering people.
Why such an excitement ?
In the ecosystem of vocal social networks – which is, granted, still quite confidential – Clubhouse’s success can be accounted for by the numerous American celebrities, like Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey or again Aston Kutcher, who are endorsing and using the platform. On January 30th, registrations and membership requests surged when the word was out that Elon Musk, himself, would host a talk on the platform.All of a sudden, Clubhouse was holding the promise of a personal discussion with Jared Leto, or of a music seminar with Drake to comment on beats. This skilful communication enabled the beta version of the application to have more than 3 million users and to be valued at more than a billion dollars.
Though only at beta version stage, Clubhouse is still arousing great curiosity. Although it has been living under constant spotlight, the application already showed the extent of its potential, with reference to both quality content production and market demand. If questions still remain about their ability to moderate the platform, their capacity to gather likeminded people in chatrooms is totally revamping the experiential approach of virtual events today. If clubhouse is still at the early stage of its development, we will undoubtedly hear about them again very soon.