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Invite-only social app Clubhouse to become a hit with Gen Z?

Clubhouse, a ‘spontaneous’ chatroom app, is trading its influencer exclusivity for a full-scale public rollout this year, and it’s set to be a real hit with Gen Z.

Social tech fanatics who keep up to date with the newest apps will know all about Clubhouse, the ambitious social network focused on live chat rooms. Chances are they won’t have had to chance to use it yet, though.

Built on exclusivity, Clubhouse (currently) is to social media platforms what EliteSingles is to online dating. Populated entirely by high profile influencers and celebrities, including the likes of Oprah, Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, and Ashton Kutcher, the audio-based platform has risen to prominence in swanky circles through dolling out private invites. The word FOMO springs to mind, doesn’t it?

However, it appears creators Paul Davison and Rohan Seth are plotting a full-scale roll out to everyone once the platform is ready for the user influx inevitably headed its way. Given 2020’s rising popularity of ephemeral platforms – meaning those that erase conservations once they’re over – it’s safe to suggest Clubhouse is set to be a big success with Gen Z.

What is Clubhouse’s USP?

Designed to create spontaneous and off-the-cuff discussions, the company describes itself as a ‘new type of social product based on voice,’ allowing users to ‘talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world.’

As the name suggests, Clubhouse will become a bustling hub for live dialogue on any topic its users wish to create or search for. The experience is essentially like dropping into the live recording of a podcast, and users can buzz around listening to ongoing conversations and even join in themselves – though it isn’t mandatory if you just want to eavesdrop.

Those who wish to contribute will notify the chat leader by clicking a ‘raise your hand’ tab, so it won’t be chaos with multiple people jostling for agency or trolling by making annoying noises.

As people riff off ideas simultaneously in thousands of different threads, Clubhouse wants its audience to rest assured knowing that there will be no recording of any conversations, and therefore no potential aftermath popping up on other popular social platforms. With the goal of ‘mimicking real life interactions,’ Clubhouse is billed to be the go-to place for spontaneous social connection.

Shame that conversations are probably limited to humble brags and comparing net worths right now, eh?

Tipped for success

As we’ve previously touched on, ephemeral social platforms have become all the rage in 2020 and the trend shows no sign of bucking anytime soon. Strictly speaking, Clubhouse has picked a real good time to think about going public.

During the first quarantine last April, Houseparty became a trailblazer for a new type of app – one that provided social connection as and when people wanted it. Seeing over 50 million downloads in just a month, it quickly became a breakout hit for pushing impromptu socialising through the guise of tech.

Pre-meditated Zoom calls, Slack threads, and email chains simply didn’t capture the same spur-of-the-moment, low pressure environment in the same way, and Houseparty zeroed in to fill that space.

Gaming network Discord has seen record levels of engagement around the same time too for similar reasons. Allowing communities to instantly jump into audio and video chats as and when they wish, its daily ‘voice users’ in the US spiked by as much as 50%.

Going on the evidence of 2020, there’s reason to believe Clubhouse is destined for serious success then. With as few as 1,500 users in May it was already valued at $100 million, and you’d bet a public roll out would increase engagement 1000 fold at a minimum.

Of course there are moderating issues to sort out, as is part and parcel of Clubhouse’s fleeting nature where messaging is concerned, but seniors of the company are working out the kinks as we speak.

Here’s to hoping we can crash the party of Hollywood’s elite this year. In the meantime, you can actually reserve your username here.