Looking to stay up to date on the latest social trends and platforms? Join the club. No, really — Clubhouse is the latest social media hot item. But here’s the twist: It’s audio-only and to join, you need to be invited. But once you’re in, there’s no telling what–or who–you’ll stumble across.

Welcome to the Club

According to the Washington Post, Clubhouse is a “free, voice-based social media app where people discuss predetermined topics or whatever’s on their mind in ‘rooms.’” So essentially, there are different “rooms” that are sorted by topic. What topics? Nearly anything. In each room, there is a moderator, the person who created the room and controls who can speak; speakers, who can touch on topics relating to the purpose of the room; and listeners, who can drop in and listen or request to be a speaker.

In an article by NPR, one of the reasons why this app is sparking interest like wildfire is because no one knows what’s next — there’s never really been anything quite like it before.

Clubhouse allows users to engage in actual conversation with strangers that share the same interests, giving them that connection that just isn’t attainable through traditional social media or other online communications. And with social distancing, people are craving that human connection more than ever.

Changing the Social Landscape

With competitors such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it takes a lot for an app or platform to be accepted into the mainstream social media world.

One example of a failed attempt is Vero, a social media platform dedicated to providing users with a more social and less marketed space; it gained momentum a few years back but never made it to the top. On the other side of the spectrum, we have platforms like TikTok, that transformed their apps over time until they became top-tier and widely accepted. But how do we know that Clubhouse may be the catalyst for the next era of social media? Imitation.

As Clubhouse gained popularity, adding celebrities such as Elon Musk and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to its list of users, Twitter was copying the platform’s idea with their introduction of Twitter Audio Spaces. There’s also been talk that Facebook has a similar feature in the works right now. If two of the largest social media platforms are imitating your design, you must be doing something right. *cough, Instagram Reels is a knock-off of TikTok, cough*

Behind the Scenes – Clubhouse

As with any new product, there are bound to be issues that arise. One problem that is already being seen in the app is offensive language, ranging from minor bullying to hate speech and anti-Semitism. It’s difficult to moderate and sensor conversation when it’s all happening in real-time. Clubhouse also does not allow users to record any conversations, which gives users a sense of privacy — however, we have already witnessed conversations leaked so one can never be too careful about what they say.

You can find a full breakdown of the community guidelines here.

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