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What Is The Clubhouse Audio-Only Social Media Platform?

January 7, 2021 Sarah Cavill

Clubhouse, a new audio-based, invite-only social media platform, has been lighting up culture reporting and chatter on Twitter in recent weeks, as the next big thing in social. From fewer than 3,500 members in early December to nearly 600,000 registered users currently, Clubhouse is having a moment. By building its reputation as an exclusive spot for celebrities and influencers – and normies lucky enough to get an invite – Clubhouse may catch on and gain traction with regular users when it launches widely, potentially offering unique advertising opportunities for brands.

What Is Clubhouse?

“Clubhouse was designed to be a space for authentic conversation and expression — where people can have fun, learn, make meaningful connections and share rich experiences with others around the world,” explains the company. Users can jump into different chats, located in different rooms, share ideas, network or host private chats with friends. Everything is entirely voice-based, which has been likened to a “free-flowing” podcast. Users can choose to be moderators, speakers or listeners, and although there is a strict rule to never record any chats, many users are already beginning to see the benefits as influencers, with Vogue reporter Eni Subair noting, “Some savvy people are already swapping ‘influencer’ for ‘moderator.’”

How Is The Launch Of Clubhouse Going So Far?

clubhouse

In recent years, there have been a spate of new social media platforms launched for users that want to get away from Facebook and Twitter. People left, or claimed to leave, those popular social media platforms for a variety of reasons, one of which was a reaction to the strict community guidelines that sites like Twitter try to enforce with regard to hate speech and fake news. Fast forward to Clubhouse gaining popularity, and it’s no surprise that the new social media platform is now dealing with accusations of poorly monitored “rooms” that allow abuse to run rampant. Clubhouse chiefs say one of the reasons for the invite-only rollout is to better prepare for widespread usage, which will likely also mean a better handle on bad faith users when the beta period is over. Progress in this area was detailed in a long statement released by Clubhouse, including promises to scale trust and safety operations and reiteration of community guidelines.

Who Is Using Clubhouse?

Oprah. And other celebrities including Drake, Tiffany Haddish, Jared Leto, Ashton Kutcher and Chris Rock, who, for the moment, enjoy the VIP vibes and relative privacy of Clubhouse, according to Vogue. Every person that is invited eventually gets four additional invites to share with friends, acquaintances or other high-profiled people they want on the platform. 

What Benefit Does Clubhouse Offer Digital Advertisers?

According to Taylor Lorenz for The New York Times, Clubhouse introduced “an invite-only ‘Creator Pilot Program’ with more than 40 Clubhouse influencers who represent a new class of online fame. So far, they’ve been promised regular meetings with one of Clubhouse’s founders and early access to special tools designed for power users.” The Creator Pilot Program is likely to lead to influencer marketing initiatives and partnerships with brands, although rollout is just beginning and monetization is still a question mark. As with all new social media platforms, advertising opportunities are likely to evolve over time. Advertisers should wait and watch the growth of Clubhouse to determine if it attracts their target audiences and offers benefits for their brands, particularly when Clubhouse exits the beta phase.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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