About a month ago, one of my favorite journalists tweeted that she had just made a Clubhouse account. Since I’d never heard the name before, I shrugged it off, not thinking much of it.
A couple of weeks later, I saw more posts about the app begin to pop up on my LinkedIn and Twitter feeds, all from people in a wide variety of industries. It piqued my curiosity, so I began to investigate.
Here’s what I found out: It’s essentially an app where there are various “rooms” that each house a conversation. There are many rooms speaking about a multitude of topics at any given time on the app, and there are moderators for each of these rooms so they don’t get out of control. The most unique aspect of the app is that it’s voice-based, meaning it’s like you’re on a conference call with the other people in the room. The New York Times offers a helpful explainer if you’d like a deeper dive.
Here’s what one of those rooms looks like in the app:
When I first tried to create an account, I was told I’d have to wait to have a profile on the app. While some users may find this annoying, it demonstrated that the team is being very intentional about the growth of their app and wants to scale the right way. I had to wait for a friend who already had an account to invite me, which only ended up taking an hour or so. The anticipation made me more excited to get in there and start exploring!
There’s something about hearing other people’s voices that makes the app feel a lot more intimate than reading their thoughts. The personalities of the different influencers and thought-leaders shine through more clearly in the Clubhouse conversations, and it feels like a real-time podcast episode.
Once you’re in a room, it’s very intuitive to navigate around and click into the speakers’ profiles to learn more about what they do and why they’re here. It’s also easy to follow the speakers’ other social media handles since they can integrate their Twitter and Instagram into their Clubhouse profiles. This creates a great cross-promotional marketing opportunity, which is illustrated in this Medium article, where the author spoke in a room for 3-4 minutes and, once he was done, saw that he’d gained 40 followers on Clubhouse and 10 new followers on Instagram and Twitter.
You can put your phone in your pocket and listen, so you don’t have to actively have the app open in order to hear the conversations. This makes it easier to listen to the speakers in the background as you’re doing other things and makes it feel more like a podcast.
Anytime a conversation occurs that pertains to a topic you’re following, the app sends you a push notification. Since there are always so many conversations happening at once, the push notifications became overwhelming. I ended up having to turn them off. The catch here is that if you turn off the notifications, it’s challenging to know when there’s a conversation taking place that might be interesting to you.
The app can feel like a conference call sometimes, where people will sometimes talk over each other and the timing is off. I don’t really want to feel like I’m on a conference call after a full day of remote work.
It’s challenging to explore new topics and rooms that may be of interest to you. I’m sure they’ll work this out as the app matures, but the experience includes tedious scrolling through myriad ongoing conversations until I can find something that I might enjoy. There should be something like an “Explore” page or various topic-filtered pages, but, alas, these don’t exist on Clubhouse yet.
Overall, I’m interested to see how Clubhouse evolves as more people join the app, and think it poses an interesting new opportunity for marketers as they look to get prospective customers more invested in their brand. What are your thoughts? Message us on LinkedIn or Twitter to let us know!