Clubhouse releases Android app to reel in more users

10 May 2021

Image: © boumenjapet/Stock.adobe.com

The company is hoping to entice more people to the platform after its iOS downloads dropped considerably.

Clubhouse has finally launched its Android app, first in the US, after much demand from users.

The app from the $4bn start-up was exclusive to iOS for more than year. Coupled with invite-only sign-ups, the live audio broadcasting app had an air of exclusivity but now that competitors are lining up to take it on, Clubhouse has begun opening the door to a wider user base.

The app soared in popularity earlier this year as an audio town hall for people, mostly entrepreneurs and some celebrities, to host talks.

The company began developing the Android app in the last few months, with external testing earlier this month.

For now, the Android app is only available in the US with no exact timeline for other markets.

“As a part of the effort to keep the growth measured, we will be continuing the waitlist and invite system, ensuring that each new community member can bring along a few close friends,” the company said.

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It added that the app, as well as the iOS version, will be scaled to handle “millions” of people joining, with expanded language and accessibility features.

“Our plan over the next few weeks is to collect feedback from the community, fix any issues we see and work to add a few final features like payments and club creation before rolling it out more broadly,” the company said.

Clubhouse added payments features to the iOS version of the app last month to allow users to pay creators for their content. The company is also funding its own line of original programming on the app.

It will be hopeful that an Android roll-out, and gradual opening up of invites, will entice more new users. Recently, its number of app downloads dipped considerably from nearly 10m downloads in February to 922,000 in April.

All the while, Clubhouse is staring down a bevy of competitors interested in live audio sharing, perhaps none more so than Twitter.

Twitter recently expanded its Spaces feature greatly to allow more users to host their own talks, allowing the social network to tap its already large user base while Clubhouse still opens up to the masses.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

editorial@siliconrepublic.com