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Clubhouse: The New Voice-Based Social Network

After TikTok, the heavy task of fighting the social network giants could return to Clubhouse. Clubhouse’s goal is simple, at least on paper: encourage user conversations through real-time voice interaction. A social network halfway between a voice chat and an open podcast. And at a time when users of instant messaging like Messenger or WhatsApp are recording an explosion of messages, the Clubhouse social network could try to pull out of the game.

Three Rooms To Discuss

The establishing guideline of Clubhouse is that of Rooms, virtual rooms where conversations happen. Every part can open a room, turning into its head and mediator. Also, they can do this in three ways: Open, Social, and Shut. An open room is available to anybody perusing the application; a social room is noticeable to interconnected individuals (e.g., those we follow ); a shut room is private, available just to the people who made it and the people who have been welcomed ( similar as some Wire gatherings ).

The first two are the most interesting because they encourage the spontaneous and viral aggregation of people who want to discuss a certain subject or are interested. Yes, because then, as in any society, there is also the desire to meet new people or, more passively, to stand at the window and watch. Or rather, to listen here. In this regard, it must be said that those who access a public room in Clubhouse are initially mute; they can only listen. 

He must request to unlock the microphone and intervene by raising his hand. The same moderator can invite other users to speak and set the maximum number of speakers. Conversations in a room can last for many hours (no time limit ), but you can leave the room at any time ( there is a special quiet leave ) and possibly return later.

Join Clubhouse: You Need An Invitation.

For now, Clubhouse is not accessible to everyone but only to Apple users who have received an invitation from a friend who is already registered. The limits in question, the creators explain, are dictated by load management reasons. The service has already reached two million subscribers in less than a year but receives many registration requests, thanks to the media coverage and the membership of some famous users ( Oprah Winfrey and Drake, among others ).

Those who have not received an invite can still download the ( free ) Clubhouse mobile app from the App Store and put themselves on the waitlist, waiting for one of their online friends to invite them formally. For this, it is necessary to enter the phone number and allow access to the contact list, which is essential to understand who among friends and acquaintances is already registered.  The Clubhouse will also invite you to select our interests based on predefined categories divided by theme ( hangouts, places, sports, news, etc. ) to allow us to intercept all interesting public discussions. On the platform. And finally getting there…

Privacy: Nothing Can Be Saved Or Downloaded

Say the word “social,” and you immediately think of privacy. From this point of view, Clubhouse starts from a position of advantage guaranteed by the voice experience. Nothing is written or visible other than the profile icon and bio. As for the things said, there’s no way ( at least for now ) to save the conversations or even download or share them. 

It will be interesting to see if these conditions will persist over time or if, when the numbers become significant, something will change.  Much will also depend on the business model established over time. From this point of view, Clubhouse could appeal to all the brands that work on brand intimacy or, more simply, intercept ( or promote ) the discussions of experts and enthusiasts who gravitate around certain areas of activity. To be continued.

Clubhouse: Should You Join It?

The Clubhouse has undeniable potential, both as a tool for social interaction and as a catalyst for various types of initiatives: from activism ( political, environmental, cultural) to new possibilities for relationships with brands and celebrities. The presence of the voice is undoubtedly the added value that allows a more authentic representation of the members. Or, at least, more representative than what classic social networks have offered us. It is no longer a pre-recorded monologue by an author addressing many people but a more free and open format catalyzed by common interests.

No Android App

From a technical point of view, the audio quality is undoubtedly good and seems well-equipped to handle overlap and background noise, although, of course, a lot depends on the ability of a room’s participants to be self-disciplined in their interventions and avoid talking to each other. That said, in the absence of a version dedicated to Android smartphones ( which, sooner or later, will come ), there is still much to do regarding user experience. 

Starting with the language. For now, everything is in English, settings included. It is challenging to understand who speaks, especially in a room with many participants. The Clubhouse makes it easy by assigning a gray profile that lights up around the speaker icon, but it still needs an automatic system that puts the speaker front and center, as it does in many chats. Video.

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