Welcome to the Clubhouse: making sense of the invite-only audio app phenomenon

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine takes us down the audio rabbit hole that is Clubhouse

03 May 2021 - 20:06 By Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine

The other night I wandered into a room — its Japanese title intrigued me. I entered and waited for one of the many people on stage to speak. But after a few seconds of silence nothing happened, no-one spoke. A few more people entered the room and joined the audience; some were moved up onto the stage. Still silence. The room size continued to grow — close to 1,000 people and not a word spoken. After giving it a few more minutes, and now feeling slightly spooked by the silence, I left the room — definitely more confused than when I’d entered.

Next, I chose a room called What the Hell Happened Last Night. It was a little more interactive — people were talking heatedly — but there I was sitting silently in the audience trying to figure out what had happened last night. “One mic! One mic please!” a moderator insisted, trying to maintain order...

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