Clubhouse is opening its live audio-chat app to the masses after maintaining an invitation-only format from its inception. The startup aimed high, competing with top platforms like Facebook, Spotify, and Twitter, and is ready to remove its waitlist system that required existing users to invite others to the app.

Unlike other social media platforms, Clubhouse is entirely audio-based. For those unfamiliar with how it works, users on Clubhouse can host “rooms” that are typically based on a topic. Other users are allowed to listen in and, if moderators of a particular room allow it, chime in. Think of it as a live, interactive podcast party. 

Since opening the app up to all users, Clubhouse usage has substantially increased. The platform added a direct message system, and it says the community has already sent about 90 million messages. Meanwhile, on average, users are spending over an hour a day on the app. Does opening its doors to the general public give Clubhouse a chance to survive? Here are a few thoughts on the possibilities and how influencers could benefit.

 

What Is Beta?

As unpredictable as it may be to interpret how successful a platform will be, the platform process is pretty predictable. “Moving out of beta” simply means a platform was created with test runs. Remember when getting a Gmail account was invitation only? Well, once it took off, it became open-source for everyone. The Facebook process was similar. Start small, iterate, then scale. As demand increases, the platform offers more access. 

Clubhouse works like social media on the go. You can explore others’ ideas or talents like a podcast, and it started out being popular with celebrities. The platform’s more celebrity, elite followers surrounding the app may be part of the appeal. Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, and Ashton Kutcher are a few of those who are blazing the trail for more people to follow. 

Mashable’s article on Clubhouse makes a good point: “In some ways, that’s part of Clubhouse’s appeal. You get the chance to hear, and even participate in, unvarnished conversations with famous and powerful people.” And even Clubhouse explains the platform as “witnessing the most unlikely collisions of people.”

It’s an appealing structure because having these chance meetings with celebrities is a nice adrenaline rush. But now, influencers have a place to rub elbows with those celebrities while also building their own brand on the platform.

“We’ve always wanted Clubhouse to be open. Everyone in the world should have access to meaningful conversations,” founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth wrote in a July blog post. “And the best rooms on Clubhouse are the ones where you meet people from far outside your social circle, with very different views and lived experiences, who change your perspective on the world.”

 

Moving Forward

Now that Clubhouse is open to everyone, how does this create more opportunities for influencers? First of all, the platform has paid its dues and has built quite a following based on those invited celebrities. And as they open up, they provide new ways to influence. 

Clubhouse requires influencers to offer ideas. They can’t rely on fashion or quirky dance routines – they rely on how they talk, what they think, and it’s all aural. Content isn’t limited to 280 characters or images. Instead, Clubhouse allows influencers to offer followers their own unique perspectives on every imaginable topic. Because of this, it has become a chance for influencers who have risen to fame on traditionally visual, short-form platforms to share their insights and expertise on a more podcast-like platform. 

One sound piece of advice we always give is that influencers need to do continuous research on how to stay viable in a fast-paced industry. And now, influencers can show off their intellect. According to a Mashable article, TED has even partnered with TED to bring exclusive talks to users’ phones.

Clubhouse could be an interesting next step for social media influencers, especially as the podcast and independent ways of creating music and chat forums grow in popularity.

 

In Closing

The fact that Clubhouse has grown so quickly after they opened up their platform for everyone is a good sign that there is some sustainable upward trajectory. Only time will tell how the platform succeeds, and it is up to influencers to trust their experience (and their gut) to invest time in it. With its novel take on “chat” rooms and podcasts, it is undoubtedly a promising venture.

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