It’s a hit among Silicon Valley types and big name celebrities, but you might have trouble joining them on there just yet.
You’ve probably heard of Clubhouse by now, even if us lowly plebs aren’t allowed on it yet, but aside from its much-vaunted exclusivity, what is it about the app that makes an invite so sought-after?
Currently an iPhone exclusive, the app is like a mashup of social media and podcasting – when you’re online you join “rooms” hosting audio-only conversations.
Facebook and Twitter are already reportedly racing to copy the idea, while others scramble to get themselves invited in and avoid missing out on The Next Big Thing In Social Media.
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If you are able to get invited, you can nominate your interests and the algorithm will recommend rooms for you to explore.
The rooms themselves function like a conference call – with sometimes thousands of people in rooms it wouldn’t be possible to let everyone talk.
Usually you will see a room featuring a couple of speakers and the majority listening in.
When the conversation ends the room disappears (although this doesn’t fully erase them off the internet as many people record and upload things on other platforms later, so you might want to consider what you say on the when it’s your turn to speak.
Already celebs like Tiffany Haddish, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Joe Rogan, Kevin Hart and Meek Mill have joined the platform and dropped in for chats.
HOW TO GET INVITED TO CLUBHOUSE
If you’re desperate to get into the Clubhouse, there is already a thriving market for people who claim they’re selling invites.
Listings on sites like Etsy and eBay advertise invites, but if you’d rather not pay then you’ll have to track down someone who’s already in Clubhouse so they can invite you.
But you’ll have to be quick – each Clubhouse user only gets two invites to start with.
If you don’t know anyone who’s already on the app, Clubhouse does offer a wait list, but you could be waiting a while.
The wait list still requires someone else on the app to “wave” you in, which doesn’t use up any of their invites.
So this still leaves you largely at the mercy of someone else on the app to get you on there.
The exclusivity of the app has people clamouring to get in and some are resorting to even more desperate measures.
Some suggestions include joining other web forums and trying to find Clubhouse users on there who you can pester for an invite.
Another strategy is to trawl rival social media sites for hashtags like #Clubhouseinvites or #Clubhouse to find people you might be able to convince to invite you.
WHERE DID CLUBHOUSE COME FROM?
The app launched quietly in April last year, developed by a company called Alpha Exploration Co.
It took less than a year for Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists to decide it was worthy of a “unicorn” valuation of $US1 billion.
Like many venture capital valuations of emerging start-ups it’s unclear exactly how this valuation has been arrived at. Clubhouse doesn’t have ads, paid tiers or seemingly any other way to make money; at the moment people selling invites are probably raking in more than the app itself.
The company is reportedly working on a funding model similar to Patreon, where you can pay content creators directly for their work, of which Patreon takes a cut.
The app’s CEO Paul Davision said earlier this month that the app was looking for ways to make money and would introduce some sort of payment model “sooner rather than later”.