Clubhouse – controversial invitation-only audio chat app launched in April 2020 sparked a lot of curiosity. Despite being released last year, it gained a lot of popularity during the past months. It is an app where anyone can host and join rooms where they talk, tell stories or give out lectures. This exclusive software has attracted many celebrities, famous and influential people, including Oprah, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Kevin Hart, and Drake. You can hear these people and participate in their rooms, which is one huge reason the app is becoming more and more popular. People say that the audio feels more intimate and authentic than a textual app. They also feel more comfortable talking from their home without thinking about their visual presentation.
The Stanford Internet Observatory discovered that Agora, the Shanghai company that supplies back-end infrastructure to the Clubhouse app, stores their users' and chatroom ID and then transmits it in plaintext, therefore Agora most likely has access to users raw audio, potentially providing access to the Chinese government.
People have come across rooms full of hate, discrimination, misogyny, racism, homophobia, sexism, and transphobia, and despite countless complaints and reports, Clubhouse struggles to act accordingly. There have even been data spillages, where the audios, the app is obligated to protect lawfully, resurfaced on the internet.
Apple has gotten backlash for numerous reasons in the past, the biggest one being their privacy problems. In 2019 Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek filed an antitrust complaint against Apple, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg expressed their concerns about how it harms small businesses and developers. Clubhouse seems to be another privacy problem of Apple, and its success is bound to disappear soon enough if Apple doesn't resolve it.
According to a town hall meeting hosted by Clubhouse CEO Paul Davidson, the app currently has 10 million users, and the number continues to grow rapidly, despite countless sources and allegations about the application's lack of trustworthiness. Do you use Clubhouse, and have you ever faced the mentioned problems? And if so, will you keep using it even after all those issues?