What is Clubhouse? The invite-only social media app used by A-list stars including Deepak Chopra and Ashton Kutcher

The audio-based social media has less than 2,000 users, but it's one of the most talked about apps of 2020

epa03943342 The Indian doctor, writer and speaker Deepak Chopra speaks during a forum in Puebla, Mexico, 09 November 2013. Chopra and the British scientist Richard Dawkins spoke about science, religion and spirituality. The conversation between these two well published writers was called "The chat of the Century" in the festival City of Ideas that summons tens of thinkers, scientists and artists each year in Puebla.  EPA/Francisco Guasco *** Local Caption *** 51096342
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It might feel like 2020 is the year of TikTok, but there’s a new social media app that has everyone talking. But you won’t find Clubhouse sneaking up the download charts, in fact, it has fewer than 2,000 users. And among them are some A-list names.

The exclusive app, currently still in “beta” (under development), is operating under invite only and must be manually installed on all users’ phones. But despite most people being unable to access Clubhouse, it hasn’t stopped thousands of people hearing about it.

Among the selected few to gain access to Clubhouse are Kevin Hart, MC Hammer, Deepak Chopra, Ashton Kutcher and Will.I.Am, alongside a number of high-profile members from the tech industry, making the platform one of Silicon Valley’s most talked about new products.

So what exactly is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app, allowing users to join in with group phone calls and discussions with people they follow. Users can dip in and out of these phone calls, known as “rooms” at any time, and choose to either listen in to conversations that are happening or contribute.

Like most social media, users can follow each other, however, unlike with Twitter and Instagram, there is no central feed, with all action taking place in separate "room" forums. One user has likened it to a "real-time Twitter."

What is different about Clubhouse?

It might be the newest social network on the block, but it is actually fairly old-fashioned in what it is offering – effectively nothing more than a good old fashioned phone call.

The difference is, you can have multiple people involved in a call at any one time, and with a highly influential user base, it is likely the conversations will be more than your average chitchat.

However, some elements of Clubhouse aren’t so different from existing social media platforms. The exclusivity mirrors the early days of Facebook, which only allowed users to register if they possessed an Ivy League email address, while in a similar vein to Twitter, it allows celebrities to connect directly with each other.

It might be a while until the average person can access Clubhouse, or perhaps they will never be able to, but it’s certainly one to watch.