Clubhouse is on the rise


It seems these days there is always some new social media app that tries to offer something that the others do not. The app store is littered with knockoffs of Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter just to name a few. However, at the beginning of 2021, a new app seems to have taken the world by storm, and that app is Clubhouse.

The concept of clubhouse is fairly simple. A person can open up a virtual room, and other people can drop into that room and have a conversation. Clubhouse has been described as a live and interactive podcast of sorts. Rooms can get pretty large, with some having upwards of 5,000 people in them. Clubhouse remained somewhat innocuous for a some time before the world’s richest man, Elon Musk popped into a room in early February and brought a monsoon of attention to the app.

Since then, the app has taken on an identity of its own, separating itself from other social media startups. Since its inception, clubhouse has spawned numerous shows that listeners can drop into on a daily basis. What makes clubhouse special is not that it is an audio format only app (because there are plenty of those) but because the potential that the young app has. Imagine someone as famous as Elon Musk opens a room, even makes an entire show out of it, and you, a random Joe Schmoe could potentially have a conversation with Elon Musk? That’s pretty cool if you ask me.

However, much like many young social media startups, it has some bugs. The main one is that as of this writing, the app remains invite only, meaning a person that already has the app must invite you, or you can just wait until clubhouse opens up to the rest of the world. I downloaded the app roughly a month ago, and have still not gotten an invite, or been let into the app by clubhouse itself, so if you are not the patient type, then this app probably isn’t for you right now.

Another issue that clubhouse faces is that it is at a crossroads of sorts. Clubhouse has the potential to become one of two things, a very popular app, or an app that will fade into social media oblivion.

When the social media app, Tik Tok took off in March of 2020, it had a lot of things going for it. For one, everyone was stuck at home and had nothing better to do because of the pandemic, but also because of it’s low barrier to entry.

What I mean by that is that to begin creating on Tik Tok, you simply make an account and within minutes your first video could be up and on the “for you page.”

This format is in stark contrast to that of YouTube. YouTube requires aspiring creators to jump through numerous hoops before even creating a channel, and once that happens, it can still take hours to upload videos.

Clubhouse could either go in the direction of Tik Tok’s low barrier to entry format, or it could be like YouTube and have a high barrier to entry, which of course would make it much more selective, and discouraging to creators. It would certainly be in Clubhouse’s best interest to follow in Tik Tok’s footsteps, as that has proven to work very, very well.

Nonetheless, I’m very excited to see what Clubhouse has in store for 2021 and the future. I firmly believe that if the people at Clubhouse play their cards right, it could be the next big content pumping machine, finally rivalling the absolute monstrosity that is Tik Tok.