What’s Clubhouse? 6 Young Nigerians Tell Us All About the latest Social app

"The fact that CH is a melting pot of cultures and audiences occurred to me as holding a huge potential to expand our community - laterally and vertically"

The latest social phenomenon is the new voice-only social media app called Clubhouse which is now causing all the rave online, to the annoyance of the select few still unsure about joining the app. Launched back in April by Paul Davison and Rohan Seth, the new networking app was released in the thick of the coronavirus induced lockdowns, a time where most were connecting to their loved ones and friends online, making it the most conducive environment to receive an app with such interesting features.

It works just like last year’s Houseparty, with users having the ability to access a variety of rooms as they connect to people within their professional field or even just converse with friends. There are no exceptions to the number of rooms and conversations one can have on Clubhouse, I once found myself hopping from a room for a live rendition of Lion King the Musical to another room for astrology lovers looking to get a detailed reading of their chart during the new moon. It’s no denying that Clubhouse is a hit, and with a recorded 600,000 active users since its inception, the number of users is only growing by the millisecond, and the app has already being valued at $1 Billion dollars this year.

Of course, as with all things, Nigerian users have a record-breaking audience on Clubhouse, and typically rooms for Nigerians double and triple by the thousands when interesting conversations surface on the app. At times, a quick scroll through your social media timeline will reveal that just about everyone is tweeting about the latest hot topic on Clubhouse, while the other half is complaining about Clubhouse conversations dominating the timeline.

For me, I’ve reached a point where I am dealing with online fatigue and I’m less likely to use the app, but that’s not quite the same for a lot of other young people. To this end, we spoke to a number of young Nigerians who use Clubhouse, to find out why they made the pivot to the latest app, from using it as a hub to keep WeTalkSound, a community of artists and creatives in touch to sourcing out all the latest gossip, here is what members of the NATIVE community had to say:

I’ve been using it for about a month now and I’m typically drawn to rooms that have interesting topics, relatable topics, or rooms with provocative names just to understand what they are talking about. I started using the app mostly because I’m spending more time indoors and boredom isn’t a joke. I barley even already use it as much as I used to when it first came out and I think I’ll totally forget about it when things are back to “normal”. I actually think we are consuming too much media, and I think it’s lack of what to do, too, so we keep checking our social media for anything interesting to keep going and yeah I’m getting tired of the repeated topics and things.

M, 23, M.

I started using the app sometime in November 2020, mostly out of boredom and curiosity. Now I find myself going back to rooms with discussions on things that affect everyday life as a young person such as mental health, sexual health, and identity. I’m also a member of clubs centred around my interests in music and creativity, such as the WeTalkSound Club and the Beyhive fan club. It has also been a great way to feel connected to other like-minded people and less alone. I however don’t see myself spending as much time on the app in a post-covid world. I wouldn’t call it a safe space because it is the internet, so you’ll still run the risk of running into frauds and generally people with ill intent. Through it all, I’ll still recommend the app to people.

I, 21, F.

I started using Clubhouse because of boredom and all the time spent at home social distancing. I’m typically in rooms surrounding my interest such as the game rooms where you can play with strangers and friends alike, the football discussions and the WeTalkSound community. Some discussions on there have educated me on a myriad of topics, but I’ve decided not to get distracted by what I listen to on Clubhouse or every other social network. There are some pretentious assertions that actually makes you deviate from what you believe in.

D, 22, M.

I use Clubhouse because I like to have fun. I mean it’s a bit like Houseparty in the sense that you can have a laugh with your friends and enter as many rooms to contribute (or even cause some mischief). I rarely use it nowadays because these new apps are mostly facades that don’t last very long, but when I do use it, I’m typically in rooms with people I already know on a day to day and not really with those that I don’t know. I also like gossip so when there’s a bit of commotion on the app, because someone’s dishing out their life story for strangers, you can find me there!

S, 25, F.

I joined on 24 November, 2020. Initially I was drawn to black and tech rooms, now it’s usually Twitter that draws me back I won’t lie. I love a bit of drama here and there, as long as they’re not talking about anything remotely conscious, so dating horror stories, that room about that sugar baby was HILARIOUS until people started trying to reason with her. I am into trash content rooms tbh, or singing talent audition rooms. I absolutely would not use Clubhouse if things were back to normal – frankly, I want to throw my phone away when things are back to normal –  but even aside from that, I genuinely think it’s Twitter on crack. There’s a lot of use in the app but it gets watered down by the typical toxic nature of social media: echo Chambers and no actual conversation. Will I pop back on for an occasional trash room? Probably. But to be sitting down hearing people argue – it’s not for me. BK chat fell off for a reason.

I, 23, F.

I had been hearing about CH in the second half of 2020 and it sounded like an interesting concept. However, I was using an Android then so I couldn’t join even if I wanted to. Towards the end of the year, I was hearing more chatter about the platform and I decided to get an iPhone and experience it for myself. Once I joined, I understood how it could help take our community to a new level. The fact that CH is a melting pot of cultures and audiences occurred to me as holding a huge potential to expand our community – laterally and vertically.

In our fast-growing club, people are networking with creatives and professionals that they probably wouldn’t have had a chance to connect with so directly, outside of CH. That, to us, is an indicator of the impact we’re creating by growing the community and curating these important conversations. I would agree that it’s fairly linked to the remote nature of life right now. People want companions and online communal experiences that can attempt to replace real-life gatherings and conversations. CH is providing exactly these. I think, though, that even when things go back to normal – whatever that would be – CH would have become embedded in the culture in a way. It wouldn’t be easy to just shake off its hold.

D, 25, M

Featured image credits/TechCrunch

.@tamimak_ Is a Staff Writer at The NATIVE

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