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Still haven't received an invite? Check out everything about the Clubhouse app and the scandals surrounding it.

What is Clubhouse? Learn more about the app stoking controversy

Social media is inescapable nowadays. Our social media accounts have become something like a presentation card for who we are – whether that’s in a business, with friends, or when engaging with strangers online.

The way we present ourselves on social media has a great impact on the way we’re perceived by others, but there’s more to using social media apps properly than just posting the most flattering selfies. It’s also important to choose which apps we use & how.

Recently a new app called Clubhouse has spiked everyone’s interest as it’s an invite-only social media platform. Here’s everything you need to know about the Clubhouse app.

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is a voice-only app created by Alpha Exploration Co. which is only available for iOS users. The app is currently number seven in the Social Networking category and it’s available on the App Store for free. However, you need more than a simple download to set up a profile on Clubhouse.

If you want to start using Clubhouse you need to get an invite. You can either get one by signing up for the waitlist or ask someone who’s already on the app to invite you. That second option might not be as easy to achieve because there’s a limited number of invitations each member gets to send out.

It seems like the Clubhouse app is trying to sell a VIP experience where users feel like they belong in an exclusive group. The app promises to encourage professional networking outside our usual niche social groups. Instead of being a look-oriented app like Instagram, Clubhouse offers the chance for people to communicate instead of selling a branded version of themselves.

Bigotry controversies

Maybe at first glance Clubhouse sounds like an app to engage in professional communication and the invite-only mechanism can keep fake accounts, harassers, or other trolls at bay. This doesn’t mean that the app has a small number of users. At the moment, there are over 600,000 people registered on the app.

In reality, per sources, the Clubhouse app isn’t working as a “safe space” as it was originally thought. On the contrary, the app is more like a way for influential people to connect despite the controversies they may carry with them. For instance, Russell Simmons who’s notoriously been accused of abuse is active on the platform after he was invited by Marcia L Dyson.

How do we know who invited Russell Simmons? Easy: every profile in Clubhouse has a banner showing who invited that user. It’s hard to argue that Clubhouse isn’t really working as a who’s who manner, instead of the “safe haven” that many believed the app could be.

Clubhouse became more famous once some of the controversies spawned in the app’s rooms leaked into other social media platforms. People then slowly started to realize that the moderation system the app’s supposed to have isn’t always followed which results in nasty exchanges with misogynist, racist, and overall discriminative tones.

Invite-only apps

While there hasn’t been any widely successful invite-only app, Clubhouse is definitely not the first platform to offer exclusivity. A few years ago, another social media platform called Ello allowed users to register only after signing up for a waiting list.

The League is another app that works on an invite-only system. This dating app gathers both your LinkedIn & Facebook profiles in an attempt to offer a selection of curated professionals for their users to date.

We can’t be sure that the Clubhouse app will suffer the same fate as Ello or The League and become mostly irrelevant. While we wait to see how successful the app becomes after a year, we can sit and watch as this “VIP” app continues producing scandals.

Do you think invite-only apps encourage segregation? Tell us in the comments!

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