Review Of Invite-Only Clubhouse App Features For iOS Users

Launched in April 2020, this invitation-only audio chat app, Clubhouse, is now sweeping through Malaysian social media timelines and stories, thanks to Elon Musk who has mostly joined recently.

It now ranks 6th on the AppStore, just behind WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger and other big names, with already more than 2 million users. The app is only available for iOS users.

Although the app is only in its beta version, it has already received a valuation of US $ 1 billion (roughly RM4 billion), with over 180 investors involved.

If you haven’t been invited to join Clubhouse or are using Android, here’s an overview of the app from my experience and what users have said about it so far.

What the app offers

There are a few barriers to entry for this app because if you want to register you need to find someone who is both an iOS user and has some invites for you.

Each person only receives two invites when they join the Clubhouse, so if you want to request an invite for yourself, you should probably ask a close friend who is willing to give it out.

That being said, you can earn more Clubhouse invitations if you’re active on their platform, like listening in rooms, hosting a room, talking, and more.

Fortunately, the technical manager of our team had left invitations on his account, which allowed me to access the application.

My sad and empty profile and my friends list … and the first page (right)

Now the user interface of the app is quite simple, you can find conversations that intrigue you and join rooms of interest.

After joining a room, you can also add your friends or raise your hand if you want to start a conversation. If a room hasn’t started yet, you can also add the event to your Apple or Google calendar.

If you want to create a room, you can create a topic, choose your privacy setting, and add friends. As the host, you control who can speak in the room and raise your hand if the listeners want to speak.

Screenshots of: I only received one invite (left), me hosting a room (middle), and conversations I could participate in (right)

Although visibly lacking in numbers, I did stumble upon a few Malaysian event venues like the Bitcoin Satay Club, Old Town KL, and one I attended for a short while, MCO 2.0 – Proven Ideas for Growth companies that had speakers like Wai Hong from StoreHub and Jes Min from Recommend Group.

Malaysian rooms that I found, and one that I ended up joining

For a room, the maximum number of participants is only 5000.

Thoughts on this from 248k users

So far, the app has been rated 4.9 stars out of 248k users, which is a testament to a pretty positive experience for many.

These positive reviews explain how it feels like a safe space, especially for introverts, how it feels like a radio only better, and seeing the value of having verbal conversations over text.

While many may have thought it was a safe space for them, there was also a lot of advice on privacy concerns, mostly from users who felt uncomfortable knowing how anyone with their number could find them on the app and couldn’t hide which rooms they are joining.

Some suggestions from users for this app are to have a notes section where they can take notes in a conversation, set a timer to see how long a room is active, including queues for those who have raised his hand, adding a messaging function, etc.

Critics say their customer service is also lacking as they are slow to respond to issues being resolved, and users who have found Clubhouse invasive have also pointed out the difficulties of deactivating and deleting their account.

As for My minds?

Honestly, I’m pretty neutral on the app. From what I’ve learned using the app, I think their concept of social networking is cool, but to call it unique would be a bit of a stretch.

If you are someone who regularly organizes networking events or panels online, this will be of more use to you.

For listeners like me, its value comes from the fact that you can follow the people you care about in order to stay on top of the rooms they host, especially if you are passionate and excited about all they have to share.

Since I’m not the type to engage in a verbal conversation with strangers even though we are like-minded people, I’d rather jump into a Twitter or Reddit thread.

It should be noted that this app is not friendly for hearing impaired people who use closed captions for online chats. With all kinds of individuals excited to participate, it’s only fitting that the app can address these issues and promote inclusiveness.

So, is this app worth downloading? Yes, especially if you are someone who is keen to meet like-minded internet friends to have verbal conversations. And of course, if you have someone to invite you first.

  • You can download Clubhouse from the AppStore here.
  • You can read more about other apps we’ve written here.

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Jothi Venkat

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