What Is Clubhouse? A Beginner's Guide to Navigate Through the Hottest App at the Moment

Learn to navigate the app and find great sessions

I’ve been on the Clubhouse app for a week now and I’m hooked.

I’ve received an invite to join the app from a friend of mine, and I immediately downloaded the app. Yes, the app is currently invite-only, and each new users get two initial invites. And guess what? People are selling the invites online because the demand to join the app is high.

The app is growing in popularity, and you might end up getting an invite pretty soon. Since I’ve been enjoying the app for the past seven days, I decided to write a short introduction for newbies and new members.

At the moment, the app is only available for iOS devices. If you are an Android user, you have to wait a little longer to join the fun.

What is Clubhouse?

It is basically an app for live podcasts — that's it. It started in April 2020, and it allows users to hop in and out of ongoing conversations and live sessions.

There are currently two ways to join the app:

  • You will receive an invitation from a friend who is already on the app.
  • You can download the app and register a username. One of your friends already on the app will be eventually notified that you registered a nickname. They will receive a prompt to let you in.

Once in the app, you will have two initial invites — use them wisely. Once you send out the invite, this invite cannot be retracted. Make sure you are inviting people with iOS devices at the moment.

Clubhouse screenshot from the App Store

Be careful who you invite though. Your name will be visible on the bios of the people you’ve invited to the app forever. And there are reports that if someone broke Clubhouse’s community guidelines, they and the person who invited them would be banned from the app.

How to get started?

When you are done with the registration questions and process, you will find yourself in the Hallway. The Hallway is your personal Clubhouse feed. Here, you will find rooms in progress curated for you based on your interests and the people you follow.

In my opinion, this is what makes Clubhouse different than every other social media app.

See, most probably you are Facebook friends with your friends and family members. I’m sure you follow them on Instagram and eventually Twitter too. Now, if you follow them on Clubhouse also, you will always see the rooms they are listening to in your Hallway — Sorry John, I’m not interested in the next quick get rich scheme.

Chose whom to follow carefully!

If you find a room that seems interesting to you, click on it, and you will immediately hop into the conversation. You will join first as a member of the audience, which means your mic will be deactivated, and you can only listen to the conversation going on between the speakers. One of the speakers will be the moderator of the room — Moderators have superpowers, which we will be discussing soon.

As a member of the audience, you can raise your hand to inform the moderator that you have something to add to the conversation. A moderator can make you a speaker. Once a speaker, you are part of the conversation. The moderator has the power to send you back to the audience at any time.

At the bottom of the screen, you have the option to start a room. There are three options (and a hidden fourth one too):

  • Open room: Which is available for everyone to join.
  • Social room: This is only available for your followers.
  • Closed room: this type of room is only available for people you invite.

On the top of the screen, you will find the calendar. Here, you will find upcoming scheduled events curated for you. You can schedule an event yourself too.

Swiping left leads you to a different menu. Here, you see everyone you follow that follows you back. Those are your friends on Clubhouse — you can start a private room with them from this menu.

There is no way to DM others on Clubhouse. However, you can link your Clubhouse’s profile to Instagram and Twitter.

The unwritten rules of Clubhouse

Like any other social media platform, Clubhouse has its own language and set of unwritten rules.

The app is based on voice communication and interaction. Therefore, as a speaker, and if you are currently only listening and not talking, it is recommended to mute your microphone. This takes away any unwanted background noises and echoes.

To show that you agree with what one of the speakers is saying, just unmute and mute your microphone rapidly for 1 second. This signals that you agree with what the speaker is saying.

SEO in Clubhouse

Screenshot by the author from Clubhouse

Anything you write in your bio is searchable. This includes keywords and emojis.

The bio is unlimited. I’ve seen bios on the app that went for pages. However, in the short profile overview, only the first three lines will be visible. If expanded, people will land on your full bio.

It is recommended to take your time when writing your bio. This is your identity on the app, and it tells people about you, your work, your passions, and it gives them a reason to connect with you.

Again, this app is not about viral dance challenges or orchestrated well-edited filter infused photos. Your experiences and your “mind” are what counts.

The attached image is a screenshot of my bio on Clubhouse. The first three lines are the ones also visible in my short-form bio. The rest can be seen if someone expanded my bio. However, everything written is searchable, and people can find me based on it — even emojis.

Why should you use Clubhouse?

The app is relatively new, and it is attracting more people every day. Therefore, brands and influencers can use the app to:

  • Build an engaging community — Live podcasts and talks allow for great opportunities to build and start an engaging community. You might want to start a writing community on Clubhouse.
  • Keep with current news and trends — I spent multiple hours this week discussing and listening to people’s opinions on GME and Robinhood.
  • Connect with investors and other creators — Yes, you might be in a startup talk, and all of a sudden, you find an investor for your upcoming idea.
  • Announcements and feedback for your brand — You can use Clubhouse rooms to announce news around your brand, and you can use it also to receive feedback.

There is more to Clubhouse than what I’m writing here. But, the experience is better if you go through it yourself. I just gave you the essential aspects of the new social platform.

Once you join, there are multiple rooms within Clubhouse to teach newcomers how to navigate the app. I joined one of these rooms created by the Community Club on Clubhouse.

The potentials for this app are huge. It allows listens to get involved in conversations and ask questions during a live podcast. It brings people with similar interests together to share and communicate their ideas.

Once a talk is over, it doesn't longer exist. Recording sessions is against the community guidelines. Even if you tried to screen record the room from your phone, the moderators would receive a notification — so don’t do it.

If you have valuable information to offer and a great set of moderation skills, you might find a significant following over Clubhouse.

The app is in 2nd place in Germany as of 30.01.2021 (And I’m sure you know why Reddit is in place 5)

The app is currently invite-only, but it will be opened for the public soon enough. In January 2021, the app’s popularity surged in Germany (reports also said it is currently top-rated in Japan). Soon enough, the app's popularity will reach other countries.

Engineer, writer, wild thinker, and life-loving. FOLLOW ⤵ www.linkedin.com/in/WAO1

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