The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.
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Musk invited Putin to chat at the Clubhouse: why everyone is talking about this social network

The founder of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, invited Russian President Vladimir Putin on his Twitter to chat with him on the new Clubhouse social network. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called this an interesting proposal, but recalled that Putin does not use social networks, writes Air force.

Photo: Shutterstock, ForumDaily collage

"Would you like to join me for a chat at the Clubhouse?" - wrote Musk, noting the official Kremlin account on the social network.

In the comments, the entrepreneur added already in Russian: "It would be a great honor to speak with you."

In three hours, Musk's tweet scored nearly 90 likes.

The Kremlin's response came on Monday, February 15th.

“We want to figure it out first. You know that President Putin does not directly use social networks. He personally does not lead them. In general, this is certainly a very interesting proposal, ”Peskov told reporters.

“But we need to somehow understand what is meant, what is offered. Therefore, we will first check all this, and then we will react, ”the Kremlin spokesman promised.

The Tesla founder has previously written tweets and comments to them in Russian more than once.

In May last year, he wrote in responses to one of the posts that he “really likes the sound of the Russian language”. Shortly thereafter, he responded in Russian to a tweet by the head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, in which he asked the head of NASA to convey his regards to Musk.

“Thank you sir, haha. We look forward to mutually beneficial and prosperous long-term cooperation, ”the American billionaire wrote at the time.

In January, Musk in Russian replied to Roscosmos tweet on the 114th anniversary of the birth of designer Sergei Korolev: “He was great.”

On the subject: Elon Musk invested $ 1,5 billion in bitcoin: pros and cons of investing in cryptocurrency

What is Clubhouse

In a nutshell, Clubhouse is a social network where users can chat. Only by voice. Only iPhone owners (for now, the app is only available to iOS users. - Esquire). It happens like this: first you need to log in to the social network, which can be done in two and a half ways. The most popular is to find, beg or even buy an invite ("invitation"). Please note that the purchase of invites is not provided for by the rules of the service and such an invitation may be canceled.

If no one offers the coveted link, it's too early to bite your elbows: you can download the application and leave a request for authorization in it. After a while, the system will most likely approve of your introduction and you can move on to the next paragraph. Another half way is asking a friend to approve your entry. If you are in his iPhone notebook, then you will not have to spend the invite - he will find you on the social network and click “Let them in!”. Wellcome!

Now you can look around. If you gave the social network access to your notebook, then it will offer to follow familiar contacts from it. If you are not yet familiar with Paris Hilton or Bill Gates, you can find them through the search. Make sure your account is real, thousands of followers will tell you about it, including famous personalities. For example, I never found the founder of Microsoft - apparently, he is "too old for all this." Or maybe, on the contrary, he is cutting his voice social network with overtones and special effects.

You will be offered "rooms" - virtual rooms where people you follow will perform. Or you can start your own room and post a link to it on traditional social networks (how else to call Instagram and Twitter?) To invite friends with a Clubhouse account there. The room can be booked in advance so that users can catch up. A user who has created three rooms can organize groups into which he can also recruit followers - this is convenient to divide supporters by interests.

In rooms, users have only three roles: the one who created the room (founder) becomes the moderator, the rest of the users become listeners. The room founder decides if any other users need to be assigned to this position. The user who wants to speak, presses the Raise Hand icon, and the moderators decide who to give the floor to, or they themselves offer to speak to a certain user and turn him into a “speaker”. All. No slides, no special effects, not even a recording. But while everything is free.

$ 1 billion a year

It turned out that this approach can be very valuable. Alpha Exploatation, the only product of which is now the social network Clubhouse, was launched exactly a year ago - in February 2020 - by entrepreneurs Paul Davison and Roen Seth. They weren't big names before Clubhouse took off, but they worked in Silicon Valley - in particular, Davidson was an employee of the social network Pinterest, and Seth worked at Google. In May, they received $ 12 million for business development while valuing $ 100 million from well-known investors Mark Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. And already in January 2021, the same Horowitz and a group of investors invested $ 100 million in the Clubhouse at an estimated $ 1 billion! Perhaps this is a record increase in the cost of an Internet project.

Almost simultaneously with the last round of investments in social networks, there was just a starburst - top figures from the technology industry, art, venture, etc., registered in it. For example, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jared Leto registered on the social network. It is almost expected that there is also one of the investors in the social network and one of the most famous venture capitalists in the world - Mark Andreessen. This attracted new users to it, who were interested to find out what the tops were talking about, and, with a successful coincidence, to ask a question themselves.

How was the service noticed by well-known investors with such a modest user base (the Clubhouse audience is estimated at 5 million; for comparison: Facebook has more than 2 billion)? Matt Navarra, UK social media consultant, joined the service back in October 2020. He notes that the founders worked and took into account the experience of well-known social networks Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat. The mechanics with invites increased the attractiveness of the service, and the initial spread among the tech geeks of the valley created a small but active core of the audience.

Anastasia Ernais-Escarsa, a consultant for strategic communications in international markets and co-founder of the local representative office of SingularityU, clarified how such connections can work: “Mark Andreessen [investor of Clubhouse] is connected with Elon Musk through an investment portfolio. Perhaps this explains Musk's interest. And Musk, in turn, persuaded Kanye West to participate in On Good Time (a room in the Clubhouse) ... "

This is how we managed to attract powerful newsmakers and opinion leaders who fuel interest in the service through high-quality expensive content and competent marketing. And already in Russia, the hype around the application happened after participating in the Elon Musk show.

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What's next?

One can argue whether the service seems to be successful, which makes you speak in a voice, break away from business at certain moments, but Clubhouse has already been noticed and copied. The social network was also noticed by the governments of other countries - from February 8, it became unavailable in China. According to CNN, the social network became unavailable after rooms appeared in it, in which the persecution of Uighurs, democracy in Hong Kong and Taiwan's sovereignty were discussed in Chinese. These political topics have always been banned in China, and all local social networks carefully filter them. At the same time, several clones of the voice social network are already being developed in China - no one wants to miss a promising niche, and the requirements of the regulator can be satisfied. A similar service is also being developed by Facebook, and Twitter has launched Twitter Space with similar functions.

At the end of January, the service announced its plans for 2021. First of all, this is the release of the Android version so that more users have access to the application. They are also tasks of localizing and adding functions that will simplify the use of the service for all consumers. At the same time, the company promises to increase the number of servers and invest in its technologies and infrastructure so that the service does not upset users with errors and unavailability. The third goal is security and respect for human rights.

The content of the conversations in the Clubhouse rooms is of concern not only to the Chinese government - the service promises to improve tools for recognizing and preventing malicious antics. So, in September 2020, anti-Semitic speeches were noticed on the social network. The social network will fight this, increase the capabilities of moderators and even develop tutorials for them. Of course, we are promised that the algorithms will learn to better match the people, rooms, and the like, recommended to the user. Finally, experts' predictions come true, tools will be developed to support creativity - the authors of the programs will be able to receive transfers with tips, payment for tickets and subscriptions. In addition, a grant program will be launched for them.

Although Clubhouse has a billion dollar valuation, so far the author has not met a single business created in the wake of conversations in it, or even an effective advertising campaign. It is clear that nothing has passed since the moment of mass user engagement, but it is not in vain that most experts note that many participate in the process "just in case." Perhaps this is not a reason to miss your chance and not try. Moreover, no one will know about the failure: everything that was in the Clubhouse remains in it.

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