Clubhouse: The New Era of Shifting Thai Society toward an Even More Interconnected World
Have you ever been invited to join Clubhouse yet?
A couple of weeks ago, when we scrolled through social media feeds such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, it is undeniable that Clubhouse has popped up on our feeds and everyone was talking about it.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is a new platform of invite-only social media application based on audio-chat, which is only available on IOS, launched in March, 2020. People from everywhere have free space to discuss various topics, share ideas or experiences, and talk to new people who have the same interests. Using Clubhouse is similar to listening to a podcast but live and cannot record. There is a list of rooms with several contents that users can join based on their interests. They are able to choose whether to be moderators, speakers or listeners, and leave the room whenever they want.
Why is Clubhouse so popular?
Clubhouse has a special feature, which distinguishes it from other social networks, where people share audio-only chat instead of post, picture, or video. Due to Covid-19 pandemic, people have to stay at home and spend more time on mobile phones, especially on social media. Since influencers and celebrities first appeared on the app such as Kanye West, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and especially Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “He talked about a variety of topics, from memes and cryptocurrency, to the colonization of Mars and the latest news about his companies.” (Eva Fox, 2021), boosting about 2 million downloads with active users weekly.
Many celebrities in Thailand also create the rooms and share through their social media accounts such as IG story, Facebook and Twitter post. Urging people on social media to download more and more because they are able to participate in the rooms even for listening or asking questions with the celebrities directly. Besides, they can set their own room to talk with their friends or other users whenever they want.
How to Play Clubhouse in 4 Simple Step
Clubhouse is available only to iPhone users and access by invitation from friends or people who have Clubhouse accounts. Initial Clubhouse users receive 2 invites.
1. Join the Clubhouse first!
Personal Invite – As long as your phone number is linked to your friends, you can join as a Clubhouse member via the invitation from your friends with that phone number.
Waitlist – You can visit the website, joinclubhouse.com, to reserve for your username, this process is slower but anyone can do it. Clubhouse will send the notification to your friends who already are Clubhouse members letting them know that you’ve reserved your username and would like to join the app. They have the option to accept or ignore you. If they accept you, their names will appear on your profile as a nominator.
2. Navigating your Clubhouse Hallway
When you join Clubhouse, there are various rooms on your feed, which is called the hallway. Hallway is where you can find upcoming rooms, join active rooms and start your own room.
At the top of the hallway, you can search for members, clubs, and topics that you are interested in by using name or keyword, view any invites to join the app, check the notifications, view or edit personal profile, and access the Clubhouse calendar to see upcoming events and schedule.
There are options for you to see in the hallway:
All Upcoming – all upcoming events and clubs based on your interest and activity
Upcoming for You – upcoming events from clubs and speakers you follow
My Events – rooms you are set as a host or events you are saved to join on the schedule.
3. Let’s start your Clubhouse Room!
You are free to create your own room and invite guests, who are your followers, and clubs that you engage with into your rooms, and set any topic you want.
Types of Clubhouse rooms:
Open room – a room opens for the public, anyone in the Clubhouse can join, which would appear on your feed based on your following.
Social room – a room for conversations between you and people you follow.
Closed room – a room for people you select and choose to have a private conversation
4. What you can be in Clubhouse?
Clubhouse offers 3 main roles for the users in order to engage the conversations:
Audience – you enter the room by muting the microphone automatically while listening to the conversation.
Speaker – you come on the stage and raise your hand to notify the moderator that you want to participate in the conversation. When the moderator moves you to be the speaker, you will have the ability to unmute and speak but you don’t have the power to moderate other users.
Moderator – you are the host of the room who has the ability to control the room and create the topic. You can moderate the role of the users, whether to be as the audience, speaker, or move to moderator. Besides, you can accept or ignore the request from audiences who raise their hands, mute other speakers, and close the room.
Let’s explore the Clubhouse
As everyone can be the speaker just by starting the room, the topics discussed in the clubhouse cover “everything under the sun” depending on what speakers are interested in. Therefore, there are many diversified topics waiting for you to join in. Here are some examples of the clubhouse room that are the talks of the town during this year 2021.
The first hot topic that the writer is unable to avoid is about Thai Politics. During the last 6 months, the political situation in Thailand has become intensified as the protesters and the government failed to cooperate. To make matters worse, the government has decided to arrest some protestors under article 112 and others bias laws. The clubhouse room thus becomes the alternative place and public sphere where people can come to talk and exchange opinions about politics freely. In another word, the clubhouse becomes the main political arena that allows everyone to engage in the conversation. An example of a popular political room is a room that has the former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra as a speaker which the number of audiences reached 10,000 within an hour!
The current economic crisis in both national level and global level makes people aware of their financial situation as their incomes are not sufficient for the cost of living. Therefore, many people become more interested in investments and savings making the business trend popular in the clubhouse as well. For the beginner investors who are interested in investment, you may start by following the financial advisors in clubhouse such as Pongsuk Hiranprueck, the CEO of beartai, and Chayanon Rakkanjanan, the co-founder of FINNOMENA, to gain more knowledge on fund and stock trading market and have the direct conversation with other experienced investors.
The education system in Thailand provides limited scope of academic knowledge inside the classroom such as Thai language, English, mathematics, science, history, physical education, and etc. Clubhouse is one of the best options for all ages ,especially for students, that offers an opportunity for people to learn new knowledge outside the classroom by exchanging their ideas or knowledge and asking some questions from the experts. We would see plenty of rooms open for sharing their experiences through their works. From one of my great experiences, I have joined the room as a speaker to talk with the director and production team of GDH because I’m interested in Thai film industry and production. Moreover, there are further recommended rooms for you to learn and perceive new things you have never known before.
Thai people have a sense of humor in their blood. Mostly, they consume funny and easily digested content that could relax their brains after the difficult day. So we will see diverse contents of entertainment appear on the clubhouse hallway including trending rooms hosted by celebrities and influencers. The combination between having celebrities as speakers and speaking easy-to-approach content makes it easier to go viral on social media. Users are very enthusiastic to raise their hand so they can join and talk with the speakers who they admire. These topics may cover from fortune telling, horror stories, music, gossip, love advice, jokes, and etc. Thus, the Clubhouse not only considered as the creativity space for the content creators to spread their ideas out loud, but also provide the space for people to show their talents such as “I CAN SEE YOUR VOICE” room where they can be on the stage and sing. However, the topic is sometimes nonsensical, for example the room “we will pretend to be the kindergarten kids”, these kinds of room is thus also suitable for the person who wants to kill the time for a while.
In conclusion, Clubhouse creates the free space and opportunity for people to share their experiences, exchange or argue some ideas, and receive new knowledge of diverse topics, which is very difficult to find in real life. That is the reason why Clubhouse would also be capable of broadening someone’s perspective. Many people are stuck in their echo chamber as they only have a conversation and share the idea with few people around them. Clubhouse can offer them the opportunity to listen more from many aspects and slowly influence people to have more critical thinking. It’s your turn to talk and explore the whole new world! Let’s find people who share the same passion toward certain things like you.
Lastly, in case you are interested in the entertainment and film industry, you can come join me on the Clubhouse @maprangprw account. Hope you enjoy playing Clubhouse! ✋🏻✨🎤
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Fox, E. (2021). Elon Musk Goes on Clubhouse & Talks Tesla FSD, Lidar & More. Retrieved 2021, from https://www.tesmanian.com/blogs/tesmanian-blog/elon-musk-in-clubhouse-talks-about-fsd-lidar-and-more
Bolder, A. (2021). The Ultimate Clubhouse Guide: How To Get Started on the Clubhouse app. Retrieved 2021, from https://andreabolder.com/clubhouse-app-guide/
Henderson, P. (2021). How To Moderate A Clubhouse Room. Retrieved 2021, from https://www.digitalmarketing.org/blog/how-to-moderate-a-clubhouse-room