The Conversations On Clubhouse

Clubhouse is the newest audio-based social networking platform that’s taking the Internet by storm. This article explores what it’s all about and the various kinds of conversations you can find on Clubhouse.
Use Clubhouse, the newest social networking platform, to socialise with people from all over the world.

A TREND TO WATCH

In this time of physical distancing, the rise of audio-focused platforms is giving everyone a voice. Literally.

Clubhouse is the hottest voice-only social media app that allows users to join live conversations and talk to people from all over the world. The platform is crowded with entrepreneurs, writers, comedians, tech professionals and more. High-profile celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have begun hosting conversations on the app, further accelerating its buzz. In Singapore, local personalities such as Razer CEO Tan Min-Liang and The Thought Collective co-founder Kuik Shiao-Yin have also been spotted on the app.

Today, Clubhouse has surpassed 10 million downloads and is valued at USD $1 billion. While the audio-based app has received acclaim, Clubhouse has also become notorious for its invite-only and iOS exclusivity, breaches in data privacy and poor moderation policies.

Whether or not you’re looking to actively contribute as a speaker or being a lurking listener, here are some topics to look out for on Clubhouse – if you score an invite.


EXPLAINER

How do I join Clubhouse?

For now, Clubhouse is only available to iOS users – Android users have to wait till an app is available. As Clubhouse is currently invite-only, you will need to receive an invitation from an existing user who has your contact number. Every existing Clubhouse member starts off with two invitations they can give away. Alternatively, you can join the waitlist to be eligible for invites. Once you’re in a Clubhouse room, or discussion, you are put on mute by default unless you’re on the panel of speakers. “Raise” your hand for a turn to speak.

Other Social Audio Services

Spaces

Spaces is a new facet of microblogging social network Twitter that allows users to join live audio conversations. Unlike Clubhouse, Spaces allows users to download a copy of the conversation’s transcript.

Instagram Live Rooms

Instagram’s newest update lets hosts invite two more people to their livestream instead of a single guest previously. Instagram Live Rooms users can hold more engaging Q&As, tutorials, fan meetings and feedback sessions.


GLOBAL OUTLOOK

The conversations in Clubhouse

A look at the different types of Clubhouse content in Singapore and around the world.

There’s a variety of Clubhouse content that you can access on the app

Local Issues

As a member of the Southeast Asia Tech Club, former Nominated Member of Parliament Anthea Ong has hosted conversations with Rovik Robert from the Economic Development Board on the importance of social equality in Singapore. Politician Janil Puthucheary, Senior Minister of State (Ministry of Communications and Information and Ministry of Health), has also been part of a talk on COVID-19 vaccination.

Want to be more involved in the Singaporean side of Clubhouse? Here are several clubs to start with:

Stay informed and connected with Singaporean content on Clubhouse

Education

Educators are hopping on the bandwagon to find networking opportunities on Clubhouse. Cognitive scientist and author Lindsay Portnoy described Clubhouse as a “24/7 teachers’ lounge filled with all the brilliant chatter you’d hear in a brick-and-mortar teacher lounge with the added benefit of even more diverse voices”. For example, a Teacher’s Lounge club founded by a teacher based in Washington DC has over 4,900 members where educators talk about the fundamentals of instruction.

If you’re in the education sector, the Teacher’s Lounge is worth checking out

Music

It is no surprise that an all-audio social networking site would be a fine space for live music and entertainment. Artist Bomani X first started playing his guitar as background music in random chatrooms, then created rooms to host solo concerts. Bomani eventually collaborated with other musicians and voice actors to create a Clubhouse rendition of the musical The Lion King. It was so popular that it maxed out the room capacity of 5,000 participants twice.

Fun fact: Bomani X was the face of the first Clubhouse icon.

Vibe to some live music and entertainment by Artist Bomani X

Politics

Clubhouse has become a new public square for Internet users in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Popular topics for political discussions include Hong Kong’s democracy protests, the Uyghur minority, and Taiwan’s independence. One such room had over 4,000 Mandarin users with 150 others on the waitlist. In Thailand, the country’s Ministry of Digital Economy and Society expressed caution over misinformation when political activist Pavin Chachavalpongpun led a heated debate on Clubhouse about the country’s monarchy.

Not ready to take part in the conversation? You can always mute your mic while staying online.

“Silent” Rooms

The existence of silent rooms is probably the biggest quirk on this voice-chatting app. This unusual phenomenon is prevalent among Chinese-speaking users who join these rooms solely to read each other’s bios and to find new people to follow. Silent networking isn’t the only reason users are muting their mics. There are many quiet rooms dedicated to meditation and co-working as well. Who knew it was possible to forge new networks without uttering a word?

Looking to connect with a special someone? Take part in a speed dating session on the Clubhouse Bachelor.

Romance

Still single? You might just find your significant other in a Clubhouse room. On a platform where people can interact with like-minded individuals and engage in heart-to-heart talks, some Clubhouse members in San Francisco are already forging romantic connections with other users. There are rooms dedicated to matchmaking and speed dating such as “Clubhouse Bachelor”, a dating game on the app and True Love Summit, Clubhouse’s first multi-day event initiated by love coach Francesca Hogi.

For more stories like this, follow the Challenge Telegram channel or subscribe to the Challenge mailing list.


LEARN THE LINGO

  • PTR: It stands for “pull to refresh”. To do it, pull down the screen to refresh the line-up of speakers or see if anyone has updated their profile pictures.
  • “Hallways” or “corridors”: Refers to the Clubhouse home feed where users scroll to find rooms to enter.
  • Party hat emoji: Indicates that the user is a new Clubhouse member and joined less than a week ago.
  • POSTED ON
    Mar 29, 2021
  • TEXT BY
    Kate Ling
  • ILLUSTRATION BY
    mushroomhead
  • link facebook
  • link twitter
  • link whatsapp
  • link email