7 Reasons to Check Out Clubhouse
Earlier this month, I finally scored an invitation to the new social media app Clubhouse. Okay, truthfully, I begged, and my efforts were rewarded. This real-time, drop in audio app is made up of individual discussions (rooms) with a self-appointed group of moderators. As of this writing, it has just over 600,000 worldwide users. Discussion topics range from serious to raunchy to totally goofy. It feels a little bit like the wild west and it will be interesting to see how the platform evolves.
And it is evolving rapidly. People who have been on the app only since December are looked to as resident experts, compared to the flood of newbies each week, donning party hats. I’m seeing influencers and podcast hosts, scrambling to build followings on the new platform. I’m seeing marketers and brand ambassadors absorbing the culture, while the wheels in their brains spin rapidly to comprehend what this new platform could mean for them.
The app has met with some controversy, as rooms are only "loosely" moderated, so anything goes. In this new era when social media platforms are increasingly taken to task for their lack of moderation, it will be interesting to see how these free-for-all conversations factor in.
But, overall, I am enjoying the app. I have seen many social media apps come and go -- and have not been truly excited about a new platform in many years. I am even having some serious FOMO at the dizzying array of conversations taking place 24/7.
Here are just a few reasons I see tremendous potential for the Clubhouse app:
It’s the right app at the right time: After nearly a year in isolation, we are all craving human connection. Something about unscripted, unpredictable conversations feels about as close as we can get right now. We all have the time and the opportunity to take a pause and truly listen to one another at this unique point in time. Isn't that exactly what we need?
Fast learning curve: People that are literally in their first few days on the app are already diving in and moderating rooms and gaining followers. Just click the "+ start a room" button and, viola, instant podcast -- with the potential for hundreds of participants. While some of the rooms are scheduled and premeditated, others are simply impromptu conversations -- and sometimes those are the best ones. You don’t have to participate in every conversation. You can be a fly on the wall and listen.
It’s unpredictable: Clubhouse's organized chaos is half of the fun. You never know where you’re going to end up. Dozens of chat rooms are taking place simultaneously, from self-proclaimed experts offering get-rich-quick schemes, (these are the rooms I avoid,) to genuine marketing rooms -- from self-help advice rooms to ‘80s karaoke rooms. Stay in one room, or skip around to many. Follow people if you like the rooms they are hosting.
Shattering the echo chamber: It’s no secret that the algorithms of most social media platforms place us in an echo chamber, in which we are predominantly talking to people who look like us and think like us. Clubhouse is turning that algorithm on its head, allowing users to instantly engage with a broader cross section of humanity.
Emphasis on commonality: Take a group of random strangers from different backgrounds and cultures, and put them in a room that celebrates their commonality. Clubhouse is focusing on what brings us together, versus what divides us. There are so many great interest-based topics, over which we can connect.
People are acting, well ... decent: It is so much easier to be kind and decent when you are talking to someone, versus hiding behind your keyboard. After all, we write things on social media that we would never say to people’s faces. So, here is an app in which we are keenly aware that we are speaking to real people.
Organic marketing potential: As a marketing professional, I see many opportunities for brand growth on the platform, and it is not about self promotion. Those who are there to sell their services lose credibility very fast. It is about tapping into likeminded communities and providing engaging content to those audiences. It’s also about CEO’s holding town halls and learning what customers want. It’s about community building for your brand. It going to happen in a number of ways, some of which we can imagine and others we cannot.
So, if your a lover of audio content -- or just a lover of making connections -- run, don’t walk over to Clubhouse and check it out. But first you’ll need to score an invite. Follow me on Clubhouse: @lauramiller