Synopsis: Clubhouse is a drop-in audio chat app that has been self-dubbed a new type of social network based on voice.
Price and Platform: Free. iOS only.
RDN Score: 3/5
- Super simple to use.
- Allows people all over the world to talk, learn, connect and develop relationships.
- Join conversations on a wide variety of topics from arts and business to wellness and world affairs.
- Participate in public rooms or create a private room.
- With no need to take pretty photos, craft a clever caption or find the latest meme, Clubhouse offers a low barrier to entry. You can join and open a room or join in a talk without getting dressed up, wearing makeup or spending hours taking photos or shooting videos.
- It’s in the moment, unedited and unscripted conversation.
- You can leave quietly, unlike Zoom or a real room.
- Plenty of space to write out a full bio with the first three lines being visible above the fold. Can include a link to your Twitter and Instagram profiles.
- View active and ongoing chat rooms in the Clubhouse hallway (the main feed).
- Turn notifications on or off.
- Follow or join different clubs to stay connected with your interest groups and to be notified when they go live.
- Even if you cannot get in, you can reserve your username now.
- Not currently available on Android.
- You’ll need an invitation to join Clubhouse. But the big con here is that the app requires syncing iPhone contacts to invite others.
- No native direct messaging option (which actually could be considered a pro).
- Occasional tech glitches.
- Cannot visit rooms in private (or lurk) and the room conversations are not recorded.
- Discovery and search are still in their infancy, so it may take some time to find the rooms and people you’re most interested in joining and following.
- Bio is all plain text plus emojis but without any special formatting or hyperlink options.
- Cannot easily share a Clubhouse profile.
- Profile is connected to one phone number.
Clubhouse is still in beta and rapidly changing. Some of these pros and cons may have changed by the time this review goes to print. It also remains to be seen how the app will perform in the post-COVID landscape.
Bottom Line: Though the jury is still out on how it will fare long-term, Clubhouse offers an opportunity to build a community on an entirely new platform. It’s ideal for anyone with the gift of gab or desire to learn from and connect with others.