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What is Clubhouse, the exclusive new social media platform?

The hot new social network app Clubhouse has already drawn plenty of celebrity users but how easy is it to get an account on the exclusive platform?

What is Clubhouse, the exclusive new social media platform?
ODD ANDERSEN AFP

The social network app Clubhouse debuted last year and is already drawing considerable interest for the unique audio-only platform. Less than a year after it went live the exclusive app has hooked a number of big-name celebrities and more are expected to join.

Clubhouse aims to give content creators better chance to monetise their posts by following a crowd-funding model also used by Patreon. With interest continuing to grow after the news that Tesla owner Elon Musk has joined, here’s everything you need to know about the newest social network app…

What is Clubhouse?

Put simply, Clubhouse is a social media platform which focuses on audio clips and live streams rather than the more common text and picture-based apps. The company was developed by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth and first went live in April last year. By May it was already valued at around $100 million. 

Users navigate through the content available by entering different ‘rooms’ which hosts discussion from other users. Anyone in the room can raise their hand to speak but it is the room’s creator who chooses who can enter the discussion.

This gives the platform more of a top-down approach than most social networking sites and perhaps explains why celebrities have been particularly quick on the uptake. The topics of discussion vary hugely and users are free to flit between rooms as they fancy.

How do I join Clubhouse?

That top-down, celebrity-driven approach makes the site one of the most exclusive social networking sites out there and you cannot simply choose to join. New members must be invited to the platform by an existing user, and by December 2020 only around 600,000 accounts had been admitted.

But it seems that the app’s creators are keen to see accessibility widened in future and released a statement recently saying that they are "building Clubhouse for everyone and working to make it available to the world as quickly as possible."

In the meantime, iPhone users can download the app and reserve a username to ensure that their favourite handle is not taken. But, for now, there is no access to chat rooms without an invite and the company say they are focused on more gradual growth.

Which celebrities are already on Clubhouse?

It may not have reached household status just yet but some of the biggest names in entertainment have already created profiles on Clubhouse and are hosting chat rooms. Some of the biggest names to join the social media app so far are rapper Drake, television personality Oprah Winfrey and actor Jared Leto.

With these star names come big followings but some celebrities have ran into a few problems while using the app. Comedian Kevin Hart came across a chat room entitled ‘Is Kevin Hart Funny??’, and decided to check it out.

Having heard his new Netflix special get roundly panned by the audience, he took to stage to have his say and caused a pretty heated exchange of views. What more could you want from a social network app?