Clubhouse, the popular audio-only social media network, is finally coming to Android after launching more than a year ago as an iOS exclusive. The beta version of Clubhouse’s Android app began rolling out this weekend, the company announced in a blog post. The app is available in the United States now and will be coming to other English-speaking countries next, with the rest of the world to follow.
The Android version of the Clubhouse app will be a true beta, with the company asking early adopters to provide feedback for the app’s continued improvement. You’ll still need an invite code to join, though — Clubhouse says this is “part of the effort to keep the growth measured.”
It’s about time Clubhouse considered letting Android users in on the experience. The company says an Android app has been at the top of the community’s list of requested features for a while now — and now that Clubhouse is facing ever-increasing audio network competition from rivals, it seems the company has finally taken that request to heart.
Still invite-only — Millions of people have joined Clubhouse via its iOS app in the year or so since it first launched. That figure is pretty shocking when you consider the app’s invite system. You have to know someone — or at the very least know someone who knows someone — to join.
This semi-exclusivity has obviously been working well for Clubhouse. Keeping the community behind a soft wall makes it seem all the more exciting from the outside — so much so that the company says millions have joined a waitlist to eventually be let in. This model has built hype and also kept Clubhouse relatively small. The company admits that, even with this “measured” growth, the community has grown so quickly that it’s presented technical issues for Clubhouse like server outages and algorithm failures.
The Android app will utilize the same invite system as its iOS counterpart, so not just anyone can download the new app and join. Clubhouse does say in its announcement blog that it plans to bring in lots of waitlisted community members in the near future.
The Clubhouse Effect — Clubhouse’s download numbers on iOS have dwindled significantly in the last couple of months, so it’s really the perfect time for the app to open itself up to an entire new ecosystem of potential users. Even with fewer downloads, though, Clubhouse has proven itself a force to be reckoned with for the internet writ large.
Clubhouse copycats and direct competitors are popping up with incredible frequency. Twitter’s Spaces feature just opened up to all users with more than 600 followers; Reddit’s Talk product is eerily similar to Clubhouse’s overall in-app experience; Facebook is in the process of adding live audio rooms and has even created a short-form audio feed called Soundbites.
The initial Clubhouse hype may have calmed down a bit, but the app’s unique hold on the internet is far from over. In fact, with an Android app finally available, it seems Clubhouse is only just getting started.