A Quick Guide to Clubhouse

by Jess Mannering

Image of iPhone with Clubhouse app in App Store

If you’ve been present in the digital space over the past year, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of the new social media app, Clubhouse. But what exactly is it and why should you care? We’re here to answer all of your Clubhouse questions!

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a free, audio-only social media app where quite literally anyone (if you have access to the app) can facilitate conversations. Users have the opportunity to browse the app’s “hallway” for topics they’re interested in and are then encouraged to drop into virtual rooms to listen as moderators and guests talk. If users are unable to find a room on a topic, they are then encouraged to create one of their own rooms. (However, as of publishing, Clubhouse has limited the creation of new clubs to its most active users.)

How can I join Clubhouse?

As of March 2021, Clubhouse operates on an invite-only basis, meaning that you will need to be invited by a current user to use the app. However, the founders of the app have made it clear that it will be available to the public at some point but haven’t set a date.

Who is currently using Clubhouse?

As previously mentioned, the app is currently only open to those who have received an invite. However, there are quite a few big-name users including Elon Musk, Kevin Hart, Drake, and Tiffany Haddish.

What types of rooms are available on Clubhouse?

The types of rooms available are potentially endless considering anyone can start a room with their topic of choice. However, the app currently offers a full page of conversation topics including wellness, tech, life, languages, identity, knowledge, arts, sports, world affairs, entertainment, places, hustle, hanging out, faith, and SO much more. Within each of these rooms, you’ll find likeminded people that you have the ability to follow. The more topics and people you follow, the more likely you are to get suggestions on rooms that interest you.

Is there a limit on how many people can be in a Clubhouse room at once?

Right now, there is a maximum limit of 5,000 people in rooms. However, the founders of the app have already mentioned this is a limit that will eventually lift.

Can I join in on the conversation in any room?

It depends on the moderators. Say you enter an extremely large room where industry professionals are speaking, and you want to throw your two cents into the conversation. You can then virtually raise your hand. If the moderators want to allow you to speak, they have the ability to add you to the conversation.

Are the conversations on Clubhouse recorded?

Yes, the app records conversations in every room. However, these recordings are then deleted after a short period of time. According to Clubhouse’s privacy rules, the recordings are solely for the purpose of investigating abuse complaints to help determine whether users should be disciplined within the app.

Are there any current issues with Clubhouse?

In short, yes. There have been some issues surrounding hate speech and verbal abuse within some of the chat rooms. In fact, Clubhouse had to further develop their Community Guidelines in October. So, what are they doing to combat this type of behavior? Clubhouse has implemented the use of moderators in order to attempt to get these types of users under control. When you start a room, you are automatically given a moderator badge. You can then appoint other moderators within your room. Additionally, the app was blocked by China in February 2021 because it offered too much freedom of expression for the government there.

Is Clubhouse just a fad?

Only time will tell! The first year after launching a new social media app is imperative to whether the app excels or plumets. The honest truth is it can be hard to hold people’s attention for a long enough for something to become a habit. For the time being, it seems as if Clubhouse is on the way up, especially considering the app has recently gone viral with 2 million downloads just in the first week of February.