South Korea’s prime minister has joined Clubhouse – TechCrunch

After garnering an estimated 8 million downloads since its launch, Clubhouse’s reputation continues internationally and even outdoors of its unique tech-focused seed group.

The most recent information comes from East Asia, the place Korean media reported this morning that the nation’s present prime minister, Chung Sye-kyun, has formally joined the social audio app below the username @gyunvely, making him among the many most senior political leaders worldwide to affix the burgeoning app. His account was created on Valentine’s Day (February 14th) and was “nominated” by a person utilizing the title of TJ Park (Clubhouse doesn’t have verified profiles).

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Clubhouse this weekend. Screenshot by Danny Crichton.

To this point, the prime minister has garnered barely fewer than 500 followers and is following a bit fewer than 200 accounts, maybe indicating the app’s present attain in one of many world’s most cell and linked digital economies. His Clubhouse bio reads “노란잠바 그 아저씨” or “That Yellow Jacket Man,” a reference to the Korean civil protection uniform worn by politicians in occasions of disaster (akin to all through the COVID-19 pandemic) and which presently serves — in cartoon type — as Chung’s profile image.

South Korean politicians typically put on yellow civil protection uniforms in occasions of nationwide disaster. Photograph by South Korean Presidential Blue Home through Getty Photographs

In line with native media experiences, Chung spoke in a Clubhouse room for over an hour with fellow Democratic Celebration of Korea member Jung Cheong-rae. In a public Fb submit yesterday, the prime minister mentioned that “I heard this [app] is ‘sizzling’ today so I attempted it as a nighttime stroll.”

He additional mentioned “I used to be slightly startled by the sudden questions and reactions however the brand new expertise was pleasurable. I feel I’ll take part on occasion sooner or later.” Elaborating, he mentioned “the truth that it’s audio-only and everybody can have a dialog with out reserve made me suppose that it’s a greater communication device than another social media platforms, particularly since presently we’re residing within the age of non-face-to-face communication.”

Discussions within the Clubhouse room included questions asking whether or not it was actually him, to extra bread-and-butter coverage points just like the excessive worth of actual property and bodily abuse within the sports activities world, which has dominated headlines in latest weeks in native media.

Whereas Clubhouse has turn into one thing of a fixture for techies and each type of hustle tradition connoisseur possible, the app has more and more made forays into politics which are hardly unknown to different social networks.

Miami’s mayor Francis Suarez has been on Clubhouse to promote his metropolis’s potential for the tech business. San Francisco district lawyer Chesa Boudin joined a “debate” on the platform about the way forward for SF, whereas NYC mayoral aspirant and throughout UBI nerd Andrew Yang joined a discussion about … himself. In the meantime, Bitcoin aficionado and itinerant Tesla chief Elon Musk has even proposed bringing Vladimir Putin onto Clubhouse for a stay fireplace chat.

But, because the platform expands globally, the challenges to its open and free-wheeling if considerably moderated conversations are coming below nearer scrutiny. China has now blocked Clubhouse inside its borders after a quick interval of uncensored dialog.

As Clubhouse continues to garner mainstream legitimacy and curiosity, questions proceed to percolate on the way forward for the app’s success, akin to the way it will fund creators and proceed to thrive as soon as the world opens up after COVID-19.

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