Have you had your invite yet?
You’ve probably already heard of the newest and most exclusive social media platform on the block – Clubhouse. So exclusive, you need to be invited to join. That’s right, you can only create an account if someone else has recommended you. What is it though? In simple terms, it connects people via audio. It’s been described as an audio version of LinkedIn and summarised as ‘part talkback radio, part conference call, part Houseparty’ by Guardian writer Rafqa Touma.
Users can join ‘rooms’ to listen in on conversations, interviews or discussions covering various topics, industries, professions and interests – it’s like sitting in on a live podcast session that you can contribute to. The difference being that Clubhouse sessions aren’t recorded, they disappear into the ether once the room has closed. With no recording, that means if you’re not in the ‘room’ you’ll miss out on what’s happening – that’s enough to give us some serious FOMO. Each ‘room’ has a moderator that can allow others to take the mic to get involved, but you can also ‘leave quietly’ when you want to dip out, making it less awkward than the broadcast of leaving a WhatsApp group.
At the start of December 2020, the platform had just 3,500 members around the world, it now has over two million active users and has been dubbed as the next big thing on social. Sorry TikTok, there’s a new kid in town… But we doubt this one is going to take off with Gen Z.
What does Clubhouse mean for brands? It presents a great opportunity to establish business owners or spokespeople as the go-to resource on topics as well as promote products or services. You get the opportunity to make your voice heard, whether that’s by starting your own room or joining someone else’s, there are ways to share your brand story, connect with customers or even run focus groups. By providing valuable content you can develop connections that will in turn help build brand awareness.
There are plenty of other functions that we’re still figuring out for ourselves, like following Clubs that create their own content and how the networking actually happens off the platform (via Twitter or Instagram) as there is no private messaging function. It’s still in beta testing and currently only available for iPhone users, so while it’s great to be an early adopter, the scope to reach a wide audience is fairly limited because of its ‘invite only’ set up and the fact that it excludes Android owners. It has the potential to be a fantastic new platform for businesses, but for now, it’s a case of watch and wait before PR opportunities can be fully maximised.