The world’s hottest new social media platform, Clubhouse, is on fire at the moment in Thailand as well – if you can get access.
Only days into the craze for the audio-centric hangout app – Elon Musk sent Vladimir Putin a Valentine’s invite to rap there – Thais have seized upon its white-hot popularity to put some baht in their pocket, selling access to the invite-only service on sites such as Shopee for as high as THB1,200 (US$40).
“Selling Clubhouse invites. Please ask for more info before ordering. I have two invites for you. **Only Apple iOS13 and later models,” one listing read on Shopee, the Singapore-based e-commerce app.
Indonesians are in on the game too, with users there selling invites for up to IDR500,000 (US$36).
Launched last year on iOS by software developers Alpha Exploration, Clubhouse is an audio chat social networking app that puts people together in rooms. Sessions are like being part of a large conference call without any photos, text or emojis – just audio. It’s led to free-wheeling conversations with figures ranging from dissident artist Ai Weiwei to Lindsay Lohan.
Just last month, the app got a boost from Musk, the ultimate influencer, when he joined a Clubhouse show called Good Time. A few days later, the business magnate tweeted that he had agreed to do a session with rapper Kanye West, and Putin is now reportedly considering his offer.
.@KremlinRussia_E would you like join me for a conversation on Clubhouse?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 13, 2021
Thais have jumped in as well, with politicians, authors and academics joining. Last night, outspoken academic-in-exile Pavin Chachavalpongpun hosted a room to talk about King Vajiralongkorn. Due to the application’s limit of 6,000 users per room, another was spawned that was dubbed “Pavin and his recording” almost simultaneously with thousands more listening in.
#ClubhouseTH has been trending on Twitter since Tuesday with a lot of discussion of the new social networking app, who to follow and a fair amount of butthurt from Android users as it is only available on iOS.
Other figures who have joined include opposition leader of dissolved political party Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, director Nawapol “Ter” Thamrongrattanarit, architect Duangrit Bunnag and former transport minister Chadchart Sittipunt.
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