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Mark Zuckerberg Joins Clubhouse: Crashes the App (for a short time)

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On a crazy night Zuckerberg, KimDotCom and Guy Kawasaki all join rooms at the same time

Clubhouse, the red hot “social audio” app which is growing, even by invitation only by the millions per week. Part of the appeal is the up-close and personal audio interactions that happen among people from all walks of life; including big names. Last week it was Elon Musk “interviewing” the CEO of Robinhood (see video below).

KimDotCom is a bit of a crazy one, could be perhaps called infamous rather than famous, as the founder of “MegaUpload” and the New Zealand Extradition saga. There’s a strange kind of irony to having Mark Zuckerberg show up. Obviously it shows how Clubhouse is just too hot to ignore – it will probably spur rumors that he is circling the rooms with designs on acquiring or copying the app.

We have been testing Clubhouse for a future feature article and it is truly remarkable what the atmosphere is while using the app. The intimacy of group audio, combined with a kind of democratic algorithm / interface (for the most part), makes for a social media experience that is nothing like any other platform that has caught on.

In some ways it’s like being at a huge trade show like CES and going to a keynote or a panel discussion. However, the fact that it is live 24/7 365 days a year makes for more impromptu access, more spontaneity and more… chaos (sometimes for good or…).

Clubhouse was launched, in what may be the most fantastically serendipitous timing ever, in March 2020. Tearing a page, ironically, from the Zuckerberg and Facebook playbook, it has been and continues to be an invitation only club.

Read more: Zendaya’s ‘Malcolm & Marie’ drops Tomorrow on Netflix: check the trailer now

After the session with Zuckerberg was over one of the “Stage” speakers coined the term “Digital Teepee” to describe the feeling of being in such an intimate setting with such a controversial figure like Mark Zuckerberg. Others speculated what his motivations might have been to join the club.

In a nod to the “Trade-show” aspect the first affinity group was… Venture Capitalists

In an interesting twist, however, the initial focus for invites was not on college students, as was the case with the early days of facebook, but mainly consisted of venture capitalists.

Perhaps this was indirectly related to the fact that , Alpha Exploration Co., the company behind Clubhouse was launched after a $12 million investment came from Andreessen Horowitz after they had only been in existence for approximately two months.

The invitations are being handed out more liberally now and the “club” is growing at over a million users per week at the moment. The demand is so extreme, however, that invites are even being sold on eBay in the US and even on equivalent platforms in China and elsewhere.

In a first, in what will almost surely crash the app again, Netflix will be doing a promotional room (which has never happened before) to promote Zendaya’s new film‘Malcolm & Marie’ which will be live on Netflix tomorrow.


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