All the buzz around the Audio-chat-only Clubhouse App

CIOL Bureau
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Clubhouse Android App open for pre-registration in India; worldwide launch by Friday

The Clubhouse app is a new type of social media that promotes only audio conversations. That's right - when you open the app you can see “rooms” full of people talking. They can start a conversation on their favourite topic and raise a hand for a turn to talk. According to the developers, the Clubhouse app promotes meeting new people around the world—to tell stories, ask questions, debate, learn, and have impromptu conversations on thousands of different topics.


The app recently created a buzz, mainly due to Elon Musk. When the world's richest man decided to pop-in one of the rooms and share the details, it attracted major attention. Secondly, the invite-only and audio-only features are novelty features globally. It's like you are in a radio conversation with people you know, with much more activity. Is this Zoom all over? Well, no. You could download the Zoom app (on both Android and iOS, the Clubhouse app is only available on iOS). Moreover, it gave you the ease of use as the meeting would need invites. To even use the Clubhouse app, users need an invitation first. On the other hand, rooms are open to those who can find it. In the words of The Verge, "It's Medium for Podcasts".

Third, the app gained momentum in China when people actively participated in political debates and global news. Very recently, the app was banned or taken down. It is still unclear whether Apple Store did it, the developers or the Chinese Government.

How to use the Clubhouse app?


First, you need an invite from another user who uses the app. Then, register with your mobile number (that, you gave for the invite) and your name. Alternatively, you can use your Twitter account to create a profile and merge your interests. An Android app is in the works. But the developers want to scale up slowly. Further, there are more Android users than iPhone users worldwide. So, if they began on Android, it would kill the "slow scale-up" plan.

Who can use the app?

Currently, the app ranks #5 in Networking apps on the Apple App Store. The app is suitable for people over 17 years of age. Further, since the app is only available for Apple users in the Beta version, you can join the waitlist to use the app in future. One room allows only 5000 members. So, you can join a room within the limit only.


What data do you share with the app?

The app requires your Contact Info, a name and a picture to start. Other than that, you share your Contacts, User Content, Usage Data and Diagnostics information with the app.

Why have we known about it only now?


Well, mostly because of the invite-only feature and iOS-only availability, the app looked like a subscription-based model. Thus, not many people used it. Over time, it has seen over 5 million downloads around the world. Many users have loved it, as the rating is already 4.9/5 on Apple App store.

Why only Audio?

According to the developers, they created the audio-only app because they think 'voice' is a very special medium. “With no camera on, you don’t have to worry about eye contact, what you’re wearing, or where you are. You can talk on Clubhouse while you’re folding laundry, breastfeeding, commuting, working on your couch in the basement, or going for a run. Instead of typing something and hitting Send, you’re engaged in a back-and-forth dialogue with others. The intonation, inflexion and emotion conveyed through voice allow you to pick up on nuance and form uniquely human connections with others. You can still challenge each other and have tough conversations—but with voice, there is often an ability to build more empathy. This is what drew us to the medium,” they stated in a blog.

A review from the developers

In their blog post, the developers talk about the app and the family it has built. “Over the past three months on Clubhouse, people have shared their joy and dismay about Supreme Court decisions, their feelings of anger and helplessness over the murder of George Floyd, and their struggles navigating the challenges of home and work during COVID-19. There have been rooms with people from all walks of life finding common ground. We’ve seen people host book clubs, fireside chats, passionate debates, and comedy shows. When people have fallen asleep late at night, others in the room have “tucked them in”—quietly sending them back to the audience to mute their microphone. People seem to be coming back because it’s a place where they can talk for hours at a time and leave each day feeling better rather than worse. After all, they’ve deepened friendships, built new ones, and learned something new,” the blog reads.

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