*Updated April 2021
Clubhouse is the new audio-only app taking the social media community by storm. Are you wondering “What is clubhouse” or want to know “How to use clubhouse” so that you can easily navigate this exciting new trend? We put together this ultimate guide to clubhouse to get your started.
What is Clubhouse?
Clubhouse is a place where you can listen to or host audio-only meaningful conversations with friends, colleagues, or other like-minded people from around the world. You’ll find a community to fit just about every interest or profession in Clubhouse, and if there isn’t already a club or chat happening in a room on something that appeals to you then you can start your own!
At this time, the Clubhouse social media networking app is only available to users with iOS devices using operating system iOS 13.0 or later ( iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch). To be able to receive and accept an invite on an iPad it will need the ability to receive SMS. The phone number that your invite was sent to and the phone number of the device you are signing up on MUST match. Verification codes are only valid for a few minutes after you receive them so be sure you complete the onboarding process as soon as you receive your OTP code from Clubhouse. The app developers indicate that the app will be made available to Android based used in the near future and recently announced that they are aiming to have Android access sometime in May 2021.
No access to an invite but eager to join? When you download the Clubhouse app and don’t have an invite you may get lucky and receive a prompt to reserve your name on the platform. Depending on how many of your contacts (in your phone) are already on Clubhouse you may see the backdoor screen – go ahead and reserve your name. Your friends who are already on the app will sometimes receive a notification and can let you in, even if they are out of invites.
Where do I get Clubhouse?
You can get the Clubhouse app at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/id1503133294. Once you’ve downloaded the app to your device you can add your name to the waitlist, or get instant access from any current user who has an invitation to send out to their network.
New Clubhouse members should be sure to attend the New Members Orientation Wednesdays at 9pm EST and attend Town Hall on Sundays at noon EST. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the Clubhouse Guidelines.
Invites to Clubhouse
Right now the only way you can join Clubhouse is by invitation. Once you are a member you are given invites to hand out to others. There are no set rules on how to obtain more invites but in general, the more you participate, engage with the community, and host rooms the more invites will automatically appear under your profile. If you don’t know anyone who has an available invitation to give you then be sure to put your name on the waitlist (see above) and hope someone in your contact network can let you in.
Once you’ve handed out an invite you can’t get it back, so it’s always best to check with the person you are inviting to ensure they wish to be on the platform and have a compatible device. When you send someone an invite you will need to provide their cell phone number and Clubhouse will text them instructions on how to come on board. If you don’t have them in your contacts you can invite them by typing in their phone number into the invite form.
Note that the person who invited you to clubhouse and the date you joined will appear at the bottom of your profile.
Clubhouse is organized into Clubs and Rooms that are accessed through your home screen (sometimes called the Hallway).
The Hallway is the very first screen you see and where you can see rooms that are available, and access the schedule/calendar, your notifications (the bell), see if you have any invites to hand out (the envelope), your profile (tap your profile picture to change the image and add a bio; hit the gear icon to add more information about your interests and select the frequency of your notifications). Be sure to link your Instagram and/or Twitter accounts under your profile settings. By clicking the paper icon at the top of the home screen you can access the Clubhouse help and FAQ, read the community guidelines and more. Use the search bar to search for people, keywords, or clubs (any emojis that are used in profiles are also searchable!).
Be sure to fill out your bio (tap your profile image in your bio to customize your picture) by tapping on your profile screen. When you are in your profile screen you’ll also see a small up arrow icon. By tapping this you can share a link to your profile outside of Clubhouse so that your friends can find you.
Insider tip: Type your bio out in the notes app on your phone. You can use break lines, emojis and any formatting you like and then copy and paste your finished bio onto your profile page in the Clubhouse app.
At the bottom of the home screen is the green button called the Buddy List where you click to start a room and in the bottom right corner is the dial pad. Tapping here allows you to quickly view who of your followers are online and what clubs they are actively participating in.
Rooms are where the conversations happen. A room is organized into three sections on your screen: the top portion is the Moderators (denoted with a green star; moderators have the ability to mute, invite people to speak, move people to the audience and shut down the room. If you are a moderator you’ll see some moderator controls in the dropdown menu under the three dots in the top corner of your screen) and stage (the place where people can speak). Below the stage is the listening audience that is divided into two portions: a section of audience members that are followed by the speakers, and finally at the bottom of the screen is the section of general audience members listening in on the conversation. When you first come into a room you are muted and join the audience section. Depending on how the moderators are running a particular room they may invite audience members up onto the stage to join as a speaker.
Insider tip: If you tap and hold the raise hand icon you can change the color of the skin.
Anybody can create a room, and a room can either be public for anyone to join, or private (the room creator can choose who can join the room). Some rooms may have a specific topic (set by the person who creates the room), and others are a more casual conversation about anything. When you start a room your followers will get a notification so that they can choose to join you. If they do join you then their followers will also receive a notification and be able to find the room.
Rooms can be spontaneous or rooms can have set days and times. You can access a schedule of events at the top of your home screen by tapping the calendar icon. If you schedule a room using the calendar icon it will add your room event to the calendar and you will be able to share a link to the event/room outside of the Clubhouse app on other social networks or via the unique link url.
Trying to find a particular person in a busy room? Tap the “…” in the top right corner of the room screen and you can search for users within that room (both moderators and audience members can now search for users inside a room).
A Clubhouse room is ephemeral and once a room is closed it disappears forever. Recording of clubhouse rooms is not allowed unless all speakers give consent to the recording and it is clearly indicated (most often by a red dot icon and a note stating the session is being recorded) in the title of the room.
If you want to schedule a room to happen at a specific time tap on the calendar icon on your home screen, and then the plus icon. You can then fill out the name of the event, ad a co-host (ask them first to ensure they are available and are ok with that), choose a date and time, add the event/room under a host club (if applicable) and write a short description. Hit publish and your room is scheduled and ready to go!
You can also bring in your audience from outside of Clubhouse when you schedule an event. When you schedule an event through your Club on Clubhouse you will get a link to share that is pre-loaded with invites to Clubhouse. If attendees are not yet on Clubhouse they will be able to skip the waitlist, attend the event and join your club!
What is a Club on Clubhouse?
Clubs are communities built around areas of common interest (similar to a “group” in Facebook). Anybody can create a club (it is best practice to have participated and/or hosted several rooms over a period of time before you apply for a club so that you are familiar with how everything works). It is up to the founder of a club to decide on how they organize club membership and audiences. A club can host rooms under its name and club members will receive a membership badge displayed on their app profile.
There are three levels within a club:
- Founder (admin)
- Members (members are able to create private rooms inside a club that only admins and members can see)
- Followers (not able to create rooms and can only see public rooms that fall under a club).
If you have started or are a member of a club the club logo (badge) will appear at the bottom of your personal profile bio.
Founders (admins) of a club have special abilities, including:
- changing the club photo
- accessing club invite links to send out
- reviewing and approving nominated club members
- editing club rules
- changing the club structure (allowing members and/or followers)
- giving members the ability to start rooms under the club name
- starting club branded rooms
- viewing the club member list
- adding or removing other founders from the club
- editing the club description
You can now create a club directly in the app! To create a club be sure you are using the most recent update of the app then go to the very bottom of your profile. You’ll see a list of clubs that you already belong to and if you scroll all the way to the right you’ll see a plus (+) icon. Tap the icon and enter the information to set up your club. You can also tap the FAQ section and click on the “how do I start a club” and follow the prompts on your screen. Note: you can change the club’s description, icon, and rules after it is approved, but you CAN NOT change the club name.
When someone views your Club page they will be able to see upcoming events that your Club is hosting.
How to Get the Best Audio on Clubhouse
Many people are using Clubhouse to share music, jam, and read books or poetry. When you plug a mic or headphone into the device you are using you will be prompted to enter into “music mode” on the app. You can run sound out of computer, audio mixer or from an instrument using a cord with a plug and/or adapter that fits into the audio port or lightning port of your phone. Many people use the iRig2 for bringing great sound into the app. A detailed explanation of how to bring good quality sound into Clubhouse can be found here.
Clubhouse has recently improved the default audio quality across the entire platform. If you want to switch to the best audio quality just tap the three dots “…” when you are speaking in a room and select Audio Quality > High.
Note: when you are on stage and receive a phone call on your cell phone it will automatically switch off your audio on Clubhouse so you can take the call. If this happens you’ll have a little phone badge on your profile image indicating that you are currently taking a phone call.
How Can I Use Clubhouse if I am Hearing or Visually Impaired?
The Clubhouse developers are working on ways to make the app as accessible as possible. In the meantime, here are some workarounds:
Are you hearing impaired? To be able to read a live transcript of what is being said in a room you can use Google Meets. Open up a google meeting and turn on the closed caption feature. Place your phone next to your computer/laptop and you’ll be able to receive a live transcription of what is being discussed in a room.
Clubhouse is working on improving the VoiceOver support so that you can use the native iOS screen reader to find your way around the app.
9 Clubhouse Etiquette Tips
- If you run out of things to say or need to duck out and you are on stage simply tap your profile icon and select “move to audience” to bump yourself off the stage. You can “leave quietly” to remove yourself from the room entirely, go check out other rooms and then come back if and when you choose.
- When you first come up on stage your mic will be on. Be sure to mute yourself right away and only make your mic live when you are speaking. This minimizes background noises and disruptions while others are talking.
- Use your microphone mute/unmute as an indicator that you’d like to jump in and say something in the conversation if you’re are on the stage. The moderator can look for this signal that you’d like to speak and bring you into the conversation.
- Rapidly toggle your mute/unmute button on and off rapidly to indicate clapping.
- There is no way inside the Clubhouse app to message someone directly. Be sure to link your Twitter and/or Instagram account to your Clubhouse profile and use that to exchange messages with other users.
- PTR – “Pull to Refresh”. You can share images within the app by temporarily changing your profile picture. Users will need to pull down on their screen to refresh the feed to see the new image.
- There are often celebrities on the app and most enjoy just being “real” and engaging in authentic and inspiring conversations. Refrain from fan-girl/boy moments and just be normal.
- Remember that people on Clubhouse come from all different backgrounds, cultures, locations and have unique points of views. Be kind, inclusive, positive and open to listening.
- Beware of Follow-for-Follow rooms. These are actually against Clubhouse policies and you can be banned for participating in them. Having too many followers will actually have a negative effect on your hallway by diluting down the rooms that are shown to you and it will become cluttered and random. You can follow a maximum of 2500 people in Clubhouse.
Send Money Feature
Clubhouse recently launched a send money feature. This feature is only available to certain profiles on Clubhouse at the moment (you’ll get a notification if you’ve been selected to trial the send money feature). It is not required to participate in this, however, you can choose to send money to tip a speaker if they have the Send Money bar on their profile. To do so, just tap the Send Money button on their profile (the first time you send money you’ll be prompted to enter your debit or credit card info). This feature is run through a third-party service called Stripe, so if you’d like to participate you will need to setup and/or link a Stripe account. 100% of the money you send goes to the person, however, the sender will be charged a small processing fee by Stripe.
Photography Rooms and Clubs on Clubhouse
Are you looking for photography-related rooms and communities on Clubhouse? We invite you to join The Imaginators: A clubhouse community for digital artists and photographers interested in composite photography, photoshop, and photo manipulation where we chat about many different topics including business, tools of the trade, photography and editing techniques, software, websites, social media, marketing, guest speakers, inspiration and networking.
Use the search bar to find other photography related clubs and communities on Clubhouse, including:
- The Portrait System
- Pratik’s Pixel Club
- Family Photogs United
- Peter Hurley’s Photography Banter
- The Full Time Hobby
- The Photography Business Coach
Need More Help?
You can contact Clubhouse support at firstname.lastname@example.org