You may not be able to rub elbows with Elon Musk, Kevin Hart, Meek Mill, Tiffany Haddish and other celebrities on the regular, but you sure can hang out with them virtually.
Welcome to Clubhouse: an exclusive, invite-only, social app where people from around the world can gather and listen to speakers, from techies and celebs to entrepreneurs and the average person, and engage in conversation. Think of it as an audio-only chat room, where users can join groups with topics ranging from real estate to investing.
Since its launch in March 2020, the app steadily grown in popularity. In November, Hart found out about a “room” titled “Is Kevin Hart Funny?” and decided to drop in and weigh in on the debate. That same month, Jordin Sparks held a listening party for her new album “Cider & Hennessy.” In January, Musk appeared on the app to discuss a variety of topics from SpaceX to the pandemic and even summoned Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev to discuss the GameStop stock debacle.
The Clubhouse app:What is the allure of the invite-only social media network?
Which celebrities are on Clubhouse?
Most recently, Lupe Fiasco moderated a discussion on cancel culture Friday on Clubhouse, while Tina Knowles Lawson hosted a virtual dinner party on a week earlier.
Celebrities go on Clubhouse for many reasons. Some like MC Hammer have been on the app to talk about cryptocurrencies and “the power of storytelling.” Meek Mill also frequents the app and has been at the center of a conversation that went viral when he spoke about Black men not uplifting other Black men. Rapper 21 Savage also moderated a conversation between the “Dreams and Nightmares” rapper and DJ Akademiks in December.
Music manager Scooter Braun and Harvey Mason Jr., the interim Recording Academy president hop on the app for panel discussions on the business of music.
How does Clubhouse work?
The iPhone-only app lets you start or listen into conversations on a whole host of topics, from tech to pro sports, parenting, Black literature and so on. There are no posts, photos or videos — only people’s profile pictures, bios and their voices.
Conversations which are held in “rooms” can be intimate, like a phone call, or might include thousands of people listening to a talk by boldface names, like a conference or stage interview.
The appeal of Clubhouse is in the authenticity of speakers
What draws celebrities to Clubhouse is the authenticity of one’s voice and being able to connect directly with others, says Anthony “Thomas J.” Lampkin, who’s moderated rooms with musicianKevin Ross, J. Holiday and others, and co-founded the Social Society group on the app where he teaches about moderating.
“It’s unfiltered access from the celebrity to their fans and gives fans access to the celebrity,” says Lampkin, adding that before Clubhouse, people interested in the entertainment industry would have to shell out hundreds of dollars to sit in a cold conference room to “maybe get a one on one chance to speak…