Clubhouse is an exclusive audio communication app that has gained popularity in recent months. In the Czech Republic, it became one of the most downloaded app for iPhone this week.
Clubhouse advertises itself as a “space for authentic conversation and expression.” In essence, the app offers a live, interactive podcasting experience.
Users can set up virtual “rooms” (růmkách in Czech) on a topic of their choice, which anyone with an account can then join.
Listeners can virtually raise their hands to chip in, but the host or hosts decide who is allowed to speak. Hundreds or even thousands tune in to discussions on popular topics or with celebrity hosts, but there is no function to chat, “like” or comment on discussions.
Barbora Balášová, a young businesswoman, is also trying to direct the Czech community at Clubhouse. She got an invitation from abroad and already founded the Facebook group Clubhouse Česko.
Clubhouse is an interesting platform for making new contacts. I like how interactive it is, and the connections you create there are closer than, for example, on LinkedIn. In the first week, I already feel like I’ve made new friends,” said Balášová.
How to get Clubhouse invite?
It’s no secret that Clubhouse is kind of exclusive, it’s invite-only. The app is still in beta and while they’re working through issues and fixing bugs, a select number of people have been given invitations to test features and further explore the app.
Initially, invitations were limited to notable people in the tech, entertainment, and media industry. However, each person who receives an invite also receives invitations to share with anyone they feel would find value from the experience. So, you don’t have to be an influencer or know someone who is, to test out the space.
So, how do you get a Clubhouse invite? Look around your circle, notice who’s a member of a creative or tech-focused industry, and ask.
Downsides to open discussion
The radically free nature of the rooms, while apparently egalitarian, has already courted controversy. Rooms described as “safe spaces” for a particular gender or ethnic group were open for anyone with an account to join — though the moderator can kick out people who are causing trouble and report them.
With no recordings of the rooms, there is little way for independent observers to investigate any of these accusations.
Concerns have also been raised about the way the app accesses users’ data.
The service has apparently grown too fast and does not take the requirements of the GDPR into account. The General Data Protection Act (GDPR) is an EU regulation that aims to give individuals greater rights over how companies use their data.