If your social media feeds are anything like ours, you've likely been seeing everyone and their mother post about the new app Clubhouse over the past few months. People are joining calls, joining rooms and basically talking nonstop about this secret clubhouse (?) about...something? Wait, but when you download the app you immediately get put on a waitlist. What is this, The League? Long story short, we're a bit confused, too.
What exactly is Clubhouse?
In short, Clubhouse is an iPhone-only (sorry Android users) social media app that, according to its website, is "based on voice -- where people around the world come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real time." So people have real-time conversations like a phone call, but it can be a bunch of people at one time, from anywhere. Think of it like if Zoom and a podcast had a baby. No video, no pictures, just audio and a bit of text on occasion.
How does it work?
When you open the app -- well, when you get off the waitlist or get invited, that is -- you will be greeted with a list of "rooms" that you can join, each focused on a different topic. Or, if you don't see anything you like, you can create your own room. Think of this as a conference call that you can jump on or off at any time.
Most rooms are typically started by experts in the field of whatever the room's call is about -- think J.K. Rowling opening up a room talking about writing fantasy novels. Then, what happens next is up to you, whether you just listen or join in the conversation.
How do I join?
At the moment, the app is only open to people who receive an invitation from someone who is already a member. Then, you can turn around and invite four of your friends if you so choose. Sounds trivial, but the exclusivity of the app is what has influenced everyone from Oprah to Kevin Hart to join.
That said, Clubhouse's CEO has said that eventually it will be open to anyone who wants to join, as well as to Android users.
Do I need it?
Honestly, if you ask us, no. Full disclosure: This writer got the invite, downloaded it and deleted it after a couple days. If you've always wished you could be a part of the conversation while listening to a podcast, consider giving it a shot. If you're perfectly content getting your tea from the 10 million other social media platforms taking up space on our phones, don't sweat getting into this one.