Have you heard about Clubhouse? Even if you have, it’s unlikely you’ve joined the Clubhouse app. That’s because this new social media platform is banking on exclusivity. For now, users need an invite to join.
The exclusive new audio-based app has taken over social media in recent months as the hottest new platform for networking and interacting with like-minded peers. The first of its kind, it has already drawn in hundreds of thousands of users, despite still being in its beta stage. Here’s everything lawyers need to know about Clubhouse, from how to join and how it works to what to expect when you’re in.
What is Clubhouse?
At a more detailed level, Clubhouse is an audio-based app where users can participate in different chat rooms with a wide range of topics. These rooms are audio only and disappear forever once the chat has finished. Company leaders describe Clubhouse as “a new type of social product based on voice [that] allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world.” Paul Davison (the founder) says: “Our goal is to give everyone instant access to meaningful conversations and human connections.”
How does the app work? What should lawyers expect?
Essentially, Clubhouse works like this: there is a ‘room’ hosted by a moderator. There are three parts to the room: a stage where the moderator sits and guest speakers can be invited to join; the front row of seats which are filled by the people that the speakers follow, and the back row for drop ins, new people and the generally interested.
Users can jump around on different chats, on different subjects, in something resembling a real-time, active podcast. You can simply listen, or share your opinions and start conversations. Think of an audio-only cocktail party on a social app.
Designed to mimic real-life interactions, there are podcast-style conversations, chat rooms, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and multiple-room use (locked and private options are available so you can talk to pals too). The biggest rule is that audio is never recorded and never leaves the app. Conversations cannot be documented and they’re not saved. Recording and/or transcribing conversations is strictly against the platform’s rules.
Right now Clubhouse is big with the celebrity set. So far, the ability to run across influencers and powerful people in a private setting is part of the appeal. However, the app has become a status symbol of sorts and is geared toward all manner of elite clientele and influencers. Recent statistics said there are about 600,000 registered users, and that number will likely continue to grow as both businesses and individuals realize the benefits.
How to use Clubhouse: Some business cases for lawyers and marketers
Clubhouse offers an intimate, private setting where lawyers can deliver talks and host virtual events that demonstrate their expertise. The best event formats on Clubhouse are Q&A sessions, such as #AskMeAnything or #AMA, or the ‘How Can I Help?’ session where a moderator leads a series of experts through a topic discussion and asks audience members to ask questions and share experiences.
As you can see, Clubhouse is a great place to collaborate on professional opportunities and network with experts from other industries in a more intimate setting. Everyone knows the value of learning from those in your own industry, but could you learn from technology leaders, best-selling authors, or small business owners? This platform is creating a stage for just such individuals, and the opportunity to learn from their successes and failures is very valuable.
Will Clubhouse replace Facebook and LinkedIn?
While LinkedIn and Facebook focus on visual and written content, Clubhouse provides a place to have an auditory experience. My sense is that the platform complements LinkedIn so well, and so it should be used in addition to your LinkedIn strategy. Have you ever wanted to dive deep into an issue with a few people and have an audience attend? Well that’s what you can create in seconds on Clubhouse. Similar to LinkedIn Live but more exclusive and completely private.
How lawyers can join the Clubhouse App
Right now the app is still in a private beta stage, and on iPhone only. There are two ways to gain access and both require knowing someone currently on the app.
By personal invitation: When a person joins Clubhouse, they’re automatically granted a single invitation to send someone using their phone number. Only after someone is on the platform for a while and contributes value by moderating rooms or speaking, can they earn more invites.
Exclusive side-door: If you go to the website, they give you an option to download the app from the App Store so you can reserve your username. If you have colleagues already using Clubhouse, they may receive a notification that you’re on the app, and they can “wave you through” even if they don’t have an official invitation to send you.
Whether you end up joining Clubhouse or not, you need to be aware of it, because it represents a shift in what users want. People expect more engagement, value, and transparency, while at the same time expressing more concerns about privacy and data usage. There are a lot of questions about what will happen once Clubhouse becomes public – but no one really knows the answer to those right now. It will be exciting to see what happens with Clubhouse in the future. If you need any help navigating the ever-changing social media environment, let our experts help.
If you’d like to connect with me on the app, find me at @guylaw.