What makes Clubhouse so appealing?

The audio-only social networking app Clubhouse is currently booming in various countries. Users can listen in on conversations like live podcasts or actively participate in discussions - but only by invitation and only on Apple phones. Commentators discuss the reasons for the hype and examine the app's potential and limitations.

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Habertürk (TR) /

Turks have found their medium

The reason why Clubhouse is so popular in Turkey is that it fits in perfectly with the country's society, Habertürk explains:

“In our culture, which still struggles with written communication, chatter has a secure place. Clubhouse is not an 'agora', but more like a neighbourhood café, a club for housewives or playing card games. ... The programme is very simple: it's like listening to a phone conversation or including others in your conversation. ... Turks don't know how to pass the time alone; the curfew during the pandemic is not a convincing excuse to explain the popularity of this app. ... Why did people sit listening to their CB radios yesterday, and why do they spend time on mobile phone apps today, rather than reading a book, watching a movie or just enjoying doing nothing?”

Eco - Economia Online (PT) /

Join now to reap the benefits

Brand consultant Patrícia Soares da Costa believes that Clubhouse could also become important for brands in the future. She explains in Eco Economia Online:

“Clubhouse means jumping from room to room, like at Web Summit [an annual technology conference in Lisbon], to find what interests us most. ... But more comfortably: wearing pyjamas, dishevelled, no changes of location, no pressure. ... Audio is the ideal middle ground between text messaging and exhaustive and invasive video conferencing. ... There is no saturation yet, and brands can gain influence and establish a community through dialogue and user participation. Conversations can last hours or days, with participants from all over the world and executives from all kinds of industries.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

China repairing the cracks in its Great Firewall

Clubhouse becoming a forum for free political debate in China was too good to be true, La Repubblica comments:

“In recent weeks the Chinese have rushed to Clubhouse en masse. And from Taiwan to Xinjiang, they chatted surprisingly freely about topics that are normally blocked by the censors. ... But as expected, this didn't last long. Since yesterday evening, Chinese users who try to open the app have been surprised by an error message stating that they cannot connect to the server. The Great Digital Firewall that the regime uses to isolate the country's Internet has rebuilt its impassable border. And it's unlikely that Clubhouse will be allowed to re-enter now that, like Facebook and Twitter, it's been shown the door.”