Clubhouse, reviewed by a product manager


I asked that question every day when I continued to see people on Slack requesting invites.

I describe it as ‘interactive podcasts’ where you get to be a fly on the wall as people speak about topics you care about. Others I know called it ‘an app for chat rooms’ but my Gen Z self didn’t comprehend that analogy.

You have the ability to raise your hand (which some rooms disable for the audience) from the audience so the moderator can bring you up on stage to ask a question or speak on the topic in a room.

Rooms show up in your homepage feed (which is called a hallway?) and you can tap to listen in on a room if the topic you see as the room name is of interest to you.

Had to have this explained to me (as with many aspects of Clubhouse)but the party emoji denotes someone who recently joined the app. I guess they are ‘new to the party’?

So what’s the big deal?

I see three sets of value from Clubhouse.

  1. FOMO from not being on the app

Clubhouse is invite only and every person who gets in only gets one invite (use it wisely) which creates a buzz about this cool app that only certain people can get into. Android users are missing out until Clubhouse builds an app for that platform. I’ve even heard an Android user say they’ll switch to iOS just to get this app (is that a brand partnership coming?).

2. Exclusive access

I love being able to listen in (and maybe even participate) on live conversations between people I’d never have the chance to meet in real life. Thought leaders in different spaces, celebrities, entertainers, investors, and more all just talking much less formally than a webinar or conference keynote. With less formal conversation comes more opportunity to ramble and change topic. With opportunity to change topic, comes fluidity, spontaneity, and excitement. You never know what you’ll get when you open the app or even when you enter a room. Every day is an addicting adventure.

It’s a great networking space and could not have come at a better time as people try to network without large conventions to attend and as people in places valued for the network (like Silicon Valley) start an exodus.


This is the biggest value prop for me: learning from those I admire for free. You know how many courses, paid webinars, subscription newsletters, and costly coaching programs there are out there. The beauty of Clubhouse is getting access to the very same people who own those paid information services and learn from them randomly on a Thursday night for free.

hype today, gone tomorrow?

I think Clubhouse is here to stay. The FOMO hype may have helped make it popular but there is actually value to the platform that will allow it to retain its user base after attracting them from invite-only buzz. My favorite, Gary Vee, is on the app and he also believes voice is the future so if you don’t believe me, maybe hear him out.


comment emoji should be a mic emoji

I kept searching for a comments section because I thought the bubble was saying how many comments there are on the room only to realize it’s telling you the number of moderators. I think that a mic emoji to indicate the speakers makes more sense especially if down the road a comments section does get added.

live reactions

Like Instagram and LinkedIn live, the audience can react to comments live with emojis like clapping, heart, wow, the notetaking hand, etc since they don’t have microphone capabilities.

queue badge

People make their mics look like they're glitching out by toggling the mute button feverishly. Instead of this, add a feature to raise hand. However not just raising hand since the other side of this issue is moderators keeping track of who was next to say something. To address that, you can have a badge that shows up next to a speaker's photo after they’ve indicated that they’d like to speak.

So the first person to raise hand as a speaker gets a 1 by their photo, the next with a 2, etc. If someone would no longer like to be in the queue, they can tap the raise hand again to remove themselves from the queue and the next in the queue will move up. When removing themselves from the line, a confirmation modal should ask them to confirm that they would like to be removed so that they don’t get bumped out from the slip of a hand.

muted by default

People bring on a lot of speakers. Beyond the 2nd speaker, have people be on mute by default when they come to the stage to prevent extra background noise from people who don’t even realize that their mic is on.

clarify notification schedule

You can edit your notification settings by frequency by it’s unclear what “frequent” vs “less frequent” really means. A quantitative measure such as x notifications per day may serve as a better calibration standard.

Are you on Clubhouse? What do you think of it? Let me know on LinkedIn.




Product manager | Leading with empathy.

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Product manager | Leading with empathy.

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