Threatening to Block Clubhouse, Kominfo Encourages Immediate Registration
The number of users of voice-based chat app Clubhouse shot up after Tesla CEO Elon Musk promoted it. This platform is also a trend in Indonesia, although it is not registered with the Ministry of Communication and Information (Kominfo).
Clubhouse was developed by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Paul Davidson and Rohan Seth. This app was available in March 2020, and had 1,500 users as of May last year. At that time, the valuation was US$ 100 million.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk held a chat at the Clubhouse with the CEO of financial firm Robinhood, Vlad Tenev. This event is broadcast live on YouTube. “It pushed Clubhouse to the top of the startup ‘charts’ and sparked a fight for invitations,” The Guardian quoted him as saying, Tuesday (16/2).
Sensor Tower data also shows that Clubhouse has two million users. In fact, membership invitations are sold on e-commerce like e-bay and Alibaba. The company also received fresh funds, so that its valuation soared to US$ 1 billion.
Many Startups Officials are Using Clubhouse
Besides Elon, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg uses the application under the account name “Zuck23”. He also briefly attended a technology and culture talk show, The Good Time Show. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also uses Clubhouse. Other figures using Clubhouse include comedian Kevin Hart, actor Jared Leto and Operah Winfrey.
A number of high-ranking startups use the application. Some of them are Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya, Bukalapak CEO Rachmat Kaimudin, Gojek Co-CEO Kevin Aluwi. Directors Joko Anwar and Ernest Prakasa to former Tourism Minister Wishnutama also used the Clubhouse. Likewise with content creators (content creator) Arief Muhammad, Reza Arap Oktovian, and Chef Arnold.
Clubhouse is an audio-chat-based chat application, which allows users to listen to conversations, interviews, and discussions. The concept is similar to a podcast, but is direct and exclusive. The user must get an invitation to listen to the chat.
In the chat room, only a few people could talk. While the rest act as participants. Currently, Clubhouse can only be downloaded on the App Store. In other words, it is only available for iPhone users.
After downloading the application, users must first receive an invitation to create an account. The invitation is in the form of a link sent via a cell phone number. When clicked, you will be directed to the account creation page.
Registered Clubhouse users can invite others to join. However, it is only limited to two invitations. After joining, users can select topics and chat rooms. The more interests a user lists in the app, the more chat room recommendations will be.
When entering the selected chat room, the authorized “room master” will control the course of the conversation. It’s like “admin” to Zoom. Room master can turn off the user’s voice feature. If you want to comment, users can click the “raise hand” and “request speaking” icons.
Not Registered in Indonesia
Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO) cyber researchers are concerned that voice data at Clubhouse will be sent to servers in Panda Country. SIO reports that the social media company’s back-end infrastructure is provided by a Chinese company called Agora. The data sent is in the form of a user ID number.
However, Agora emphasized that the company does not have access to share or store Clubhouse end-user data. The company also denied that overseas users’ voice data traffic was diverted to China.
Even so, Clubhouse added encryption and blocking to prevent clients from sending data to Chinese servers. The developer also hires an external security firm to review and validate application updates.
However, the Clubhouse itself has not actually been registered with Kominfo. In fact, the platform has been widely used in the country. “We hope (they) can register according to the provisions in the Minister of Communication and Information Technology Regulation Number 5 of 2020,” said Kominfo spokesman Dedy Permadi, Tuesday (16/2).