woman smiling while on a video chat.
The vast opportunities, from mentorship to marketing, are what make an invitation to this exclusive networking app so desirable. — Getty Images/PixelsEffect

Clubhouse has quietly but steadily been gaining influence since it first launched in 2020. While some see Clubhouse as a competitor to Twitter, others see it as an entirely different concept. Here’s what business owners need to know about the Clubhouse app and some of the ways that it might be relevant to you and your customers.

[Read more: Twitter Stats: Understanding Social Media Stats and How to Measure Success]

What is Clubhouse?

The Clubhouse app allows users to share audio clips with one another in virtual “rooms.” Developed by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth in 2020, the app has drawn two million users around the world and is reportedly worth $1 billion.

“When users enter the app, they can choose between different virtual ‘rooms’ to enter,” described The Today Show. “When a user enters a room, the audio automatically turns on. The creator of a room decides who can speak, and interested users can raise their hands to join the discussion.”

Clubhouse chats, like many other social media platforms, cover a wide range of topics. Fans say that participating in Clubhouse conversations makes it feel more like an interactive podcast or an audio version of Twitter (but with a moderator).

One of the reasons why Clubhouse has gained so much attention is that it’s exclusive. You can only join Clubhouse after being invited by another member. iPhone users can download Clubhouse and reserve a username, but you won’t be able to access any virtual rooms until you’ve received a unique invite link.

Another drawback to Clubhouse is that the app has had some early issues moderating content. Most social media platforms can use algorithms and spam filters to automatically detect racist and offensive language, to some extent. Because Clubhouse is completely audio-based, it relies on “hosts” — moderators — to police what users are saying. As such, there is plenty of opportunity for hate speech to make its way onto the app.

Clubhouse offers the opportunity to connect with others in your industry, as well as to network with other business leaders.

How to use Clubhouse for your business

If you are able to get invited to the Clubhouse app, it can be a big win for your business.

The biggest draw of Clubhouse at the moment is the opportunity to connect with some of the world’s most prominent business leaders and entrepreneurs. As one writer for Forbes found, the “exclusivity” of Clubhouse means that you’ll have access to virtually every other user. “Everyone is on Clubhouse to give value,” wrote MeiMei Fox. “When I first joined, I entered a ‘room’ dedicated to business growth. On the ‘stage’ were Grant Cardone, Tiffany Haddish, Jim Kwik and several USA Shark Tank investors – people with millions of followers! Then, I asked and was granted access to the ‘stage’ with them.”

Clubhouse offers the opportunity to connect with others in your industry, as well as to network with other business leaders. Beyond the mentorship potential, you can also use it to become a thought leader yourself. As more people slowly receive invites to join, it will pay off big to have spent time positioning yourself as an expert and start gaining followers early.

[Read more: A Quick Guide to Social Media Branding]

“Nothing is better for marketers and people that would benefit from business connections than a new social media platform with low dilution and great reach. And that's Clubhouse, for now,” wrote Entrepreneur. Investing time in Clubhouse now is like being one of the first businesses listed on Twitter or Facebook. You’ll be able to build a following to which your competitors simply can’t catch up.

Clubhouse also offers a new way to humanize your business to others. The voice-note aspect of Clubhouse reportedly makes interactions on the platform feel more personal. “You don't have to worry about eye contact, what you're wearing or where you are," said the Clubhouse website. "The intonation, inflection and emotion conveyed through voice allow you to pick up on nuance and form uniquely human connections with others. You can still challenge each other and have tough conversations — but with voice there is often an ability to build more empathy. This is what drew us to the medium."

Clubhouse recently announced the development of an influencer program, its invite-only “Creator Pilot Program”. This program is only open to 40 top users on Clubhouse but shows promise for businesses who may wish to tap the talents of high-follower-count users in the future. It’s worth keeping an eye on this program as the platform expands and starts to offer ways to monetize or market your business more overtly.

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