What is Clubhouse?
Launched in April last year, Clubhouse is a social networking site based on voice that allows people to talk about anything and everything. You can jump in and out of various rooms on various topics by simply being a listener, a speaker, or a moderator. The type of rooms you will see are based on who you choose to follow, who is in your address book and, you can also select your interests and hobbies.
It’s like an interactive podcast that mimics real-life interactions.
Apart from being an audio-based app, Clubhouse is an exclusive invite-only app – meaning you have to be invited by somebody in order to join. The Clubhouse website states, “we’re still in private beta but we’re working hard to open things up soon”.
‘Beta’ in this instance means the app functionality is included and optimised (but may have bugs or some implementation errors), and which is considered nearly complete.
Who uses Clubhouse?
As of this article, Clubhouse currently has 600,000+ users with the likes of celebrities such as Oprah, influencers, CEOs, and everyone in between. It’s also popular for networking and informal discussions for the creative industries.
There is no data yet suggesting children and young people are using Clubhouse. However, if and when Clubhouse makes the app open to all and if popularity continues to grow and the conversations move to social media, children and young people may be more likely to join.
Is Clubhouse safe?
In recent news, Clubhouse has received backlash over the fact all rooms cannot be appropriately moderated by them. Also, concerns were raised about the app due to its lack of safety protocols to monitor abuse such as hate speech.
The app is not appropriate for kids and has a minimum age of 18 years old. There currently is no age verification, so anyone under 18 can join on the basis if someone they already know has invited them on the app.
Does Clubhouse have any safety features?
In response to its allegation of hate speech and abuse, Clubhouse released a statement condemning hate speech and abuse and updated their community guidelines and terms of service accordingly.
As a moderator, you have more privileges than a speaker or listener. As a moderator in a room, you can:
- Accept or reject speakers.
- Mute or remove speakers.
- Mute or remove speakers.
- Shared block lists.
As a speaker or listener, you can block someone and report incidents. Clubhouse explicit states conversations are not to leave the app – and does not permit users recording conversations. Users will be removed, and an investigation carried out if they are found doing so.
Ways to talk to kids about keeping them safe online
- the importance of age restrictions on social media apps and platforms,
- suggesting alternatives app and platforms designed for kids – such as Popjam;
- how they interact/express themselves with friends online (netiquette).
Other things to know about Clubhouse
- The app is now available to Android users (as of early May 2021)
- iPhone or other iOS users can download the app from the Apple store and reserve a username, you’ll be added to the waiting list unless you receive an invite via a friend or colleague.