“So Far You might have already heard about Clubhouse, the buzzy, all-audio Silicon Valley app that is making a splash with venture capitalists.”
So Far You might have already heard about Clubhouse, the buzzy, all-audio Silicon Valley app that is making a splash with venture capitalists, music industry moguls, and working professionals alike. The app around before the pandemic hit full force, but really exploded in use as lockdowns made people yearn for the days of easy internet connections. The premise of the app itself is that it’s like a never-ending conference: drop in, listen to or discuss a topic, leave when you’re ready. Nothing is recorded and there’s no video, and (almost) everyone uses real names. Invites can be hard to come by and even though the app is still fairly new, it’s clear there’s a lot of potential for a service where you get to hear actual human voices in a time where many of us are spending more time alone. I scored an invite about a week ago and since then, I’ve been dropping in on audio conversations about pot. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
The first thing I learned was that there is an actual cannabis community on the app. For whatever reason, I wasn’t sure there would be. In my mind that kind of thing is reserved for Twitter and Reddit forums. However, I quickly found cannabis lovers from all walks of life through clubs (groups where users gather to discuss a specific topic) and from user bios. Not related to 200 characters or less like some other corner of the internet, the Clubhouse bio is the space where users discuss who they are and why they are using the app. As it turns out, tons of people want to connect and discuss cannabis culture, consumption, and commerce.
Secondly, the experience is a lot more organic visceral than on other online platforms. You might follow the 420 hashtags on Twitter or Instagram, and yes, you’ll see images and videos of people smoking. They might host a Tweetup or a livestream. Although, nothing beats lighting up with a friend, because cannabis is inherently social (at least for me). The interactivity of discussing pot culture with a stranger who is also smoking adds an IRL feeling to this app that’s hard to replicate elsewhere.
On other social platforms, typing on an online forum or on your own social media is much better than actually talking out loud to Cheryl in accounting about how dank the Sour Diesel you picked up last weekend. Even if Cheryl is a cannabis lover, openly discussing it at work might attract the wrong attention. However, now that so many people are working from home, you can actually wake and bake or take a smoke break with others in an online community, with little risk. Of course, sometimes the things that make something great also make it difficult. Listeners can actually hear the emotion and nuance that sometimes gets lost when the conversation is all text, which means that sometimes disagreements break out. Also, because you have access to the nuances of someone’s voice, a comment that might not even register if read, can create conflict or spark a discussion that wouldn’t normally exist. This won’t change, no matter what changes they make in the future.
In just a week I pondered the mysteries of the universe in a virtual smoke sesh, learned more about investing in cannabis, and heard from entrepreneurs in the budding cannabis industry, all on my own schedule. My early hot take is that this app will become an incredibly important resource for the cannabis community, both personal and professional. It’s a natural draw for people who like to talk about themselves or what they’re working on, and I foresee a lot of thought leadership and partnerships to come out of this platform. I, for one, can’t wait to see how it turns out.