After Elon Musk drove attention to Clubhouse, everyone is looking for an invite to join the exclusive by invitation-only social media. But what is Clubhouse anyway? Will it be the next big thing for retail brands?
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Clubhouse is an iPhone-only social networking app that focuses on live audio and candid conversations. The startup was launched by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth in March 2020. In just a year, the app grew from 1,500 users in May 2020 to 2 million users in February 2021 and is now considered a Unicorn startup with a value of US$1 billion.
The concept of the app is like a conference call, a few people would talk, while the rest would listen; however, like a phone call, once the conversation is over, the room disappears, thus whatever happens in Clubhouse, stays in Clubhouse. This audio-based social media stood out from text-based social media platforms, as it is found to be more intimate.
As anything built to match the concept of exclusivity, Clubhouse has gained traction because of its entry policy. People cannot just download the app and create or join a room, instead they have to be invited by an existing user and each user only has two invites. Luckily, at the beginning of the year, the founders announced in their blog that their goal for 2021 is to “open up Clubhouse to the whole world”. Will this move make them less appealing?
The uniqueness of the platform made its way and attracted numerous public figures. Some famous users of the app are Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Kevin Hart and Elon Musk.
Clubhouse became a global platform that allows cross-border dialogues and provides the opportunity for users to discuss a wide range of topics, including taboo topics.
The app is not available in Mainland China and this may stop brands to embark on a journey on a new platform because not in line with their financial KPIs that in 2021 seem to be more aligned with marketing investments aimed at entertaining the Chinese market.