TBC Explainer: Everything you need to know about Clubhouse, the invite-only social app

Is it the #FOMO factor that's driving audiences to join Clubhouse? The Bridge Chronicle decodes all the buzz behind the exclusive audio-only app.
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Representational ImageThe Bridge Chronicle

If you consume social media for breakfast (much like we do), you may have come across the mention of Clubhouse. Although introduced in 2019, the app's claim-to-fame wasn't until this year. So, what's all the buzz revolving around the app? Here's what we know:

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-only app that is exclusive to the iPhone only at this time. Developed by Rohan Seth and Paul Davison, the app allows users to converse using only voice -- which means there's no scope for text, images or GIFs. Users can join discussions, seminars and audio-workshops based on their interests that they initially have to fill in while signing up. However, what makes this app a sought after platform is the opportunity to attend live/free seminars with influencers from anywhere across the globe.

Why is it gaining popularity?

For one, there's the ability to connect with like-minded people (and celebrities!) with ease. Notable personalities such as Elon Musk, Ashton Kucher and Oprah Winfrey are some well-known names that have joined Clubhouse. Apart from this, it is the exclusivity of the app that has intrigued several. The app intends to be more available for people over time -- however, it is the quality versus the quantity that has kept it under moderation so far. In fact, the app hasn't managed to stay out of controversies, and the makers are yet to decide how that aspect will come into play.

How does it work?

Clubhouse will remind you of any other app on joining. The interface is simple and fuss-free, and there aren't a lot of confusing tabs on it. You have an option to 'start a room' and can follow friends who are on Clubhouse just like Twitter or Instagram. However, unlike other similar apps, you can also follow clubs (for instance: Astrophysics club, All-Day Radio, etc.) that regularly churn out the content of your interest. You can turn on notifications for when your 'room' is active so that you don't miss out on anything you're keen on attending.

How can I be a part of Clubhouse?

You actually can't -- as of now! But makers have now announced that they're working on an Android version. However, it is difficult to tell when and how long it will take before we have one. If you're an iPhone user, you can sign up for the app without an invite to be on their wait-list. If you have a friend or an acquaintance who can move you up on the list and shorten your wait, you could get through faster! However, as a Clubhouse user, you can only send two invites -- so choose wisely! The app recommends picking those who will enjoy using it. While the developers have promised to make it available to the general public sometime in the near future, there's still a possibility of a long wait!

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