Focus on audio, rather than text, photos or videos, as differentiating and part of the appeal. Delia Cai, of the Deez Links newsletter, wrote about her experience on the app: “It feels spontaneous, low commitment, and luck doesn’t involve turning on any kind of camera”.
Who’s up there?
As its name suggests, Clubhouse is built on exclusivity: You must be invited by existing users. The club’s early members included Silicon Valley venture capitalists (Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, both early app investors), web savvy entrepreneurs ( Mark Cuban, Tim Ferriss), a bunch of performers and cultural influencers (Tiffany Haddish, Drake, Virgil Abloh) and famous random proclaimers (Vanilla Ice, Roger Stone).
The Clubhouse has been criticized by some for its male-dominated, male-dominated energy (although a lot of women also participate in the playground). Its open information exchange has also made it popular with users from countries with repressive governments. China blocked Clubhouse this month. For now, the app is still in beta, with a rare (and possibly fleeting) sense of a small world. It’s still a surprise when you bump into someone you know, or when, say, Sen. Tim Kaine shows up in a chat room.
What happened up there?
Clubhouse can sometimes reflect Silicon Valley’s relentless focus on personal optimization. Networking, weight training, early retirement, inviting investors and Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin – the culture is hustle and real now. But there’s also a big theater with staged plays and dating scenes as well. And chats are often in free, devious, and completely text-free form. That unpolished quality is part of the charm.
One week recently there was a talk show, “Housin ‘Around,” hosted by comedian Alexis Gay; a pitch event for entrepreneurs with startup ideas; seminar “Forming black creative space in fashion”; and Karaoke on Clubhouse, among other discussions. Daily and weekly shows have begun to emerge from indetermination, such as “The Cotton Club”, an after-work relaxation area hosted by musician Bomani X and “Good Time”, summarizing the news. ie technology of the day at 10 p.m. Pacific. time. Chatting between rooms is easy and fun.