A new messaging app consisting exclusively of voice messages has recently arrived in Italy. It is the only type of communication that can be implemented on the platform. It is called Clubhouse and was created to offer a different messaging experience, more oriented towards the real conversation. A place to exchange ideas, thoughts, and stories without the aid of text or images.
In Italy, for the moment, Clubhouse is only available for Apple devices. And even though the social network is less than a year old, it claims to have 2 million users already. The application was launched in April last year by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, thanks to a $ 12 million loan from a venture capital firm. A few weeks ago, given the success, the same company invested another 100 million dollars in the project.
But let’s understand better what it is.
For the moment, access to the app is only allowed by invitation from another user. And each user has only two invitations available. A mode that wants to build a reputation for exclusivity around the app and give life to a solid community that grows organically explained the founders of the app. This modality was the winning key, particularly among the Silicon Valley tech industry workers, the first and most enthusiastic Clubhouse users. However, Davison and Seth say in the future. They want to change the way they log in to attract more and more people to the platform.
Once logged in, the user finds himself in front of different rooms, which are the other chats he can take part in. The Clubhouse algorithm itself pushes the user to the rooms most akin to his tastes and passions. Inside each room, it is possible to both participate in the conversation and listen only to the other members present. To take part in the discussion and have your say, you must book by pressing the “raise your hand” icon. Once the room is closed, none of the messages sent on the app can be recorded, saved, or shared.
One of the main reasons for the app’s appeal is the presence of celebs such as Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Chris Rock, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Hart, and Elon Musk. These not only take part in conversations but are often the administrators of several chats. Beyond the presence of big names, the app is promoted as a great way to network to meet new people for both business and personal purposes. An advantage that should not be underestimated in times of social distancing.
Despite the excellent premises, one of the most talked-about aspects of Clubhouse is the total lack of content moderation. There is no type of control and limit imposed on the content of the chats. This could leave room for the proliferation of racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic chants. The founders assure that they are implementing this aspect, as never before is control over the Hate Speech necessary.
Small curiosity: the icon. It differs from those that we are commonly used to associate with social networks. Instead of the colorful logo, we have a black and white image of a man smiling at his guitar. His name is Bomani X, and he is an American guitarist and songwriter and one of what we could define as digital entrepreneurs. He founded Lit. Spins, a subscription service that sends you a book associated with vinyl. And he co-founded New Perspectives Party, a sharing network where, among other things, home concerts (by invitation) and creative hackathons are organized. Why did it end up on the Clubhouse icon? Because this social network has decided not to rely on a logo, but on the faces of its most popular and active users.