John Lincoln

Clubhouse Review: The Inside Scoop on the Invite-Only App


the complete review of clubhouse
Clubhouse Review: The Inside Scoop on the Invite-Only App

How would you like to be part of an online exclusive community that includes high-profile entertainers, Silicon Valley investors, and social activists?

Well, maybe you can join Clubhouse. But first, you’ll need an invitation.

That’s how Clubhouse works. It’s by invitation-only.

Oh, yeah. One other thing: Clubhouse only works on an Apple iOS platform at this time. So you’re out of luck if you’re an Android user.

And there’s something else you should know. Clubhouse is audio-based.

In other words, people connect virtually by speaking to one another.

Not typing. Speaking.

In this Clubhouse app review, I’ll go over the latest about the app. Then you can decide if you’d like to be one of the select few who can hang out in its chat rooms.

But remember, you’ll need to be invited (see above).

The Mother of Invention

Clubhouse reviewIn this Clubhouse app review, I’ll start by explaining how Clubhouse came into being.

Like many other great inventions, it was born of necessity.

Venture capitalists who were unable to mingle in-person during pandemic lockdowns needed a way to still talk shop and seal deals. And so Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth created Clubhouse.

They did so with financial assistance from Silicon Valley entrepreneur Marc Andreesen, who managed to convince his venture capital firm Andreesen Horowitz to put $12 million into the app.

I guess it wasn’t too hard to convince the firm’s leadership to make the investment since Andreesen’s name is on the masthead.

However, not all investors see Clubhouse as a slam-dunk for ROI.

Take Jeremy Liew, for example. He’s an investor at Lightspeed Venture Partners.

According to Liew, the app “got some early traction with V.C.s and entrepreneurs, and no doubt that is why some firms leaned in.”

But his company took a pass on making an investment.

That Andreesen financing, by the way, put the valuation of Clubhouse at around $100 million.

It’s still far short of other social media apps, though.

A Virtual Collection of Elitists

Clubhouse creators started off by selecting a few thousand “cool kids” to join the app. They’re mainly movers and shakers within high-tech and entertainment as well as high-profile financiers and authors.

Those folks were allowed to invite their friends. A few each day.

That’s how the community grew.

The Clubhouse membership roster now includes rapper MC Hammer and activist DeRay McKesson. Andreesen and his two high-profile business partners, Andrew Chen and Ben Horowitz, also make frequent appearances on the app.

But that doesn’t mean that people only talk shop on Clubhouse.

In one chat session, Horowitz fielded questions about barbeque techniques and his favorite dining spots.

And after hours, Clubhouse is like a virtual dive bar. Chat rooms get filled with dozens of people and microphones are mostly unmuted. People can talk about whatever they want.

During some of those sessions, people change their profile pics to memes that match the current topic of conversation.

However, only a few thousand people are using the app right now.

But some of those who do have reported that it’s easy to get addicted. One woman said she spends 40 or more hours a week Clubhousing.

Folks who frequent the app say that it’s brought spontaneity of real-life conversations to an online forum.

“It’s like walking into a party where you know people are ready to mingle,” said digital marketing consultant Sonia Baschez.

She also said that she spends 3-5 hours per day on Clubhouse.

“Sure, you could be talking to people on the phone, but that just seems so weird,” Baschez continued. “You’re not forced to be part of the conversation the entire time on Clubhouse. You can just listen to other people talking about interesting subjects and jump in when you want.”

Recently, author Shaka Senhor and DeRay McKesson went back-and-forth on Clubhouse talking about prison reform, police brutality, and other social issues.

And former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss held an open Q&A on the app.

People familiar with high-tech say that sometimes Clubhouse feels like a tech conference.

“It’s almost like a podcast with audience participation,” said Leo Polovets, an investor with Susa Ventures.

And yes, Clubhouse already has an influencer. Sheel Mohnot used the app to connect with record executive Scooter Braun. As a result, Mohnot appeared in a music video starring Justin Bieber and Arianna Grande.

In summary, Clubhouse is a free-wheeling, unscripted open discussion forum that’s accessible by invitation only.

Another way to describe it: it’s like Zoom with no video.

And I don’t think there’s any social media tool that will help you navigate through it.

How It Works

In this Clubhouse app review, I’ll also explain how it works.

The app allows people to join audio pop-up rooms. Users see virtual hangouts where the folks they follow are participating in a discussion.

Of course, each chat room has its own rule-enforcer. The moderator segments users into tiers once they enter the room.

People who refuse to follow the rules get the boot.

Users in rooms can listen to the speakers. They can also see who is speaking by looking at the person’s profile pic. If they want more info about that speaker, they can click on the profile pic to see a mini-biography.

Chat room participants signal their approval with what the current speaker is saying by muting and unmuting their microphones quickly. That’s the virtual “applause” that speakers covet.

That’s like getting “likes” on Instagram.

Users can also find people to follow on Clubhouse. They just need to press a button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and then click another button for each person they want to follow.

Also, users can start their own rooms and spout off about any topic of interest.

Clubhouse also pulls contacts from your smartphone and gives you a list of who is on the app already. You can use that community as a starting point for your own circle of friends and expand from there.

How to Get on Clubhouse

So how do you get on Clubhouse?

First, have a cool friend who’s willing to extend an invitation. And I mean that person must be a real friend with your contact info on his or her smartphone.

Keep in mind, though: the app only gives out a couple of invitations to extend every few days. So don’t feel bad if you don’t get invited right away.

You can also apply to reserve your name. Then, a close friend can let you in from inside Clubhouse.


New User Tips

In this Clubhouse app review, I’ll go over some important tips to follow when you’re new to the app (should you become one of the lucky few who gets an invitation).

  • Raise your hand before you speak.
  • In some cases, your entire chat room may be unmuted. Mind your words.
  • You can always “leave quietly” if the topic in a chat room doesn’t interest you.
  • If you’re in a room with a great conversation, be sure to ping a friend and ask that person to join in on the fun.
  • Create a cool profile. Make sure you upload a quality photo and take advantage of the fact that you can write as many as a thousand words about yourself.
  • In your profile, make sure the first three lines really capture people’s attention. That’s because those are the lines that people see without opening your entire profile.
  • Link your Instagram account to your Clubhouse profile. That’s how you’ll communicate via text because Clubhouse doesn’t have an internal messaging system.
  • Keep in mind that Clubhouse is a “cool community.” Follow the rules or you could get booted. Permanently.

Tips for Stage Members

In this Clubhouse review, I’ll also cover tips for stage members.

  • Mute your microphone when you first join the stage.
  • Also, mute your microphone before and after speaking.
  • Keep up with the convo. Don’t continually pass the mic or dodge questions.
  • Be patient. It might take a while for the moderator to give you the green light to speak.
  • As is the case with everything else you do online, always add value.

Tips of Moderators

In this Clubhouse app review, I’ll also cover tips for moderators.

  • Pay attention. Make sure you know who’s spoken and who hasn’t. Send the people who’ve already spoken back to the audience so others have a chance to chime in.
  • Give a summary of the current chat room topic.
  • Create boundaries for speakers based on shared agreements.
  • Keep the conversation lively by moving new speakers on and off the stage.
  • Don’t let any single speaker monopolize the time.
  • Pay attention to the members who are unmuting. Be sure to “pass the mic” to them.
  • Mute people who forget to mute themselves.

Wrapping It Up

And there you have it, a little insight into that Clubhouse app that’s getting a lot of buzz these days.

If you end up getting an invite, and you accept, be sure to pass another invite on to me.


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