Soo…What Exactly Is Clubhouse?

Bella Gerard
Soo…What Exactly Is Clubhouse?
Photo: Adobe.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve asked me what Clubhouse is in the last 72 hours. Or, perhaps you’ve been wondering in your head, too embarrassed to ask aloud—allow me to help you out! I’ve been on the app for a couple of weeks now, sometimes lurking quietly, other times speaking in and hosting rooms, so I feel like at this point, I know as much as anybody else. That isn’t saying much, but still; let’s dive in!

The wonderful world of Clubhouse popped up seemingly out of nowhere, and then suddenly, absolutely everyone was obsessed with it. I’m talking all of my coworkers, random friends from high school, acquaintances from college and even my favorite celebrities! It was at this point that I, still unaware of the app’s purpose, decided I needed to join. So, I asked a friend to invite me and my Clubhouse journey began.

Oh yeah, that’s the thing—you have to be invited to join. But don’t be too turned off by the air of exclusivity! All users have the ability to send a certain number of invites, so you can almost always find someone willing to invite you in. Invites are sent by text message, and only iPhone users can accept them, so sorry to all you Samsung Galaxy fans. Maybe once beta testing is finished in the next few months, you’ll be able to join in on the fun, too.

Until then, listen up, iPhone users! Read on for everything you need to know about Clubhouse, but are too embarrassed to ask your more social media-savvy friends. This is a no-judgement zone!

STYLECASTER | What Is Clubhouse?

Courtesy of Clubhouse.

What’s the Deal with Joining?

Like I said, the app is invite-only, so once someone texts you an invite, you can click the link, download the app and set up your profile, which is connected to your phone number. Once you’re in, you can set up a profile photo, a bio and link any relevant social media accounts. The app will then alert your friends that you’re now a member, so they can follow you and vice versa.

Oh, and fair warning—whoever invites you to join earns a permanent spot on your profile, where it notes the day you joined and whoever you were nominated by. So just know their name will be there forever! Right when you join and set up your profile, Clubhouse will then try to set up a “Welcome” room for you, which your friends can enter to talk to you and explain the app in more detail.

STYLECASTER | What Is Clubhouse?

Courtesy of Clubhouse.

Wait, WTF is a Room?

So glad you asked! Within any good clubhouse, there are lots of different rooms, natch. On the Clubhouse app, rooms are devoted to all different topics, and anyone can join them and listen in. When you click to join a room, you’re automatically put in the audience and placed on mute—so you can hear the speakers and any participants that are “on stage,” but if you want to speak, you have to “raise your hand” (AKA press a button) and a moderator can invite you up to join the conversation.

Jumping from room to room is what Clubhouse is all about! I’ve found that some are truly just people who want to hear themselves talk, but others are engaging, informative, funny, etc! Think of rooms like live podcasts, starring a whole cast of interesting characters to listen to and learn from. Once you find a few reoccurring rooms you love or stumble upon some one-time gems, you’ll start to see what the Clubhouse magic is all about.

STYLECASTER | What Is Clubhouse?

Courtesy of Clubhouse.

Who is Making the Rooms?

Anyone can make a room using the green “+Start a room” button , and you can choose whether to keep it open, closed, or only available to members of select groups. Lots of groups offer reoccurring rooms at the same time each week, so you can find one you love and look forward to the conversation regularly.

Rooms can be live for a few minutes or a few hours—as long as people are using them, there’s no time restriction, although many moderators will put time limits on so as to give the rooms some structure.

And to reiterate what might be obvious, no one in the rooms can “see” you. Clubhouse is an audio-only app, so think of rooms less like Zoom meetings and more like giant phone conference calls.

STYLECASTER | What Is Clubhouse?

Courtesy of Clubhouse.

How Do I Join Groups?

When you first sign up, you’ll be able to pick out your interests and be presented with options for groups to join. Personally, I lean towards groups about social media, fashion, beauty and the editorial world, but Clubhouse caters to all kinds of different topics, from religion to dating to sports to pop culture and so much more! Some groups are all about business and making connections, while others are just fun groups of like-minded people.

Clubhouse is definitely a what-you-make-it app, so you can choose to use it professionally or moreso for fun and entertainment. Once you join groups, you’ll be able to see what rooms they’re hosting and can join as you please. You can also check out topics that might intrigue you on the Explore page. Pro Tip: If you’re new to the app, try joining some of the groups your friends are already in to start you off on your search for content you’ll enjoy!

STYLECASTER | What Is Clubhouse?

Courtesy of Clubhouse.

So What’s The Must-Know Room Etiquette?

So glad you asked, because proper Clubhouse Etiquette is very real and very strictly enforced. The person who starts the room is the moderator, and they can have as many people “on stage” with them as they want. They hold the power to invite and remove others from the stage as the room unfolds, but whenever someone on stage isn’t the person speaking, it’s encouraged that they mute themselves so that the speaker can be heard clearly.

When someone else on stage does want to speak, they must wait their turn and then unmute themselves. If an audience member wants to join in the conversation, they can raise their hand and see if they get invited on stage.

Oh, and if you’re ever speaking and notice others flipping their mute buttons on and off quickly, get excited. That’s their way of clapping and supporting what you’re saying!

Image from iOS Soo...What Exactly Is Clubhouse?

Didn’t You Say Celebs Are Using It?

I did indeed! I currently follow Tory Burch, Virgil Abloh and other big fashion names, but there are an abundance of celebrities joining Clubhouse every day. Some members that have caught my eye include Tiffany Haddish, Drake and Kevin Hart.

Bottom line, Clubhouse is definitely an app that requires some exploration (and, usually, a few incidents accidentally entering rooms you don’t want to be in), but once you get the hang of it, it’s a great way to connect with others on a totally new social platform. Now, go snag yourself an invite!

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