It has been more than a year of iOS exclusivity, social audio platform Clubhouse is releasing its Android app. It will be available in beta on Google’s mobile OS in the US, allowing users to sign up and participate in its audio-only chat rooms.
Clubhouse began developing the Android app early this year and started to test the beta version externally this month. In a town hall earlier Sunday, the startup said availability on Android has been the most requested product feature.
“Today, we are thrilled to share that Clubhouse for Android will start rolling out in beta immediately. We will begin gradually, with the U.S. today, followed by other English-speaking countries and then the rest of the world. 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 in a blog post
Clubhouse says the platform will remain invite-only for now, meaning it’s still not open to just anyone,
“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. As we head into the summer and continue to scale out the backend, we plan to begin opening up even further, welcoming millions of more people in from the iOS waitlist, expanding language support, and adding more accessibility features, so that people worldwide can experience Clubhouse in a way that feels native to them.”
Android is finally here! You can download the Clubhouse beta right now in the US, & around the world in the coming days/weeks.
Before you ask…yes, still invite-only. We're managing growth so we can build more sustainable infrastructure before the floodgates open. Soon(ish)! pic.twitter.com/EdltTZS0hD
— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) May 9, 2021
What is Clubhouse
A social networking app that lets people gather in audio chat rooms to discuss various topics, whether it’s sports, wellness, art or why Bitcoin is headed to $87,000. Rooms are usually divided into two groups: those who are talking and those who are listening (participants can see a list of everyone who is in a conversation, and the numbers sometimes run into the thousands). Unlike Twitter, Clubhouse is a closed, hierarchical platform: A moderator oversees discussions and has the ability to let someone chime in or to kick out the unruly. In addition to the “clubs” sorted by topic, two or more users can join together and start their own chat room.
The app was unveiled last spring by two tech industry veterans, Paul Davison and Rohan Seth. Their prototype of a podcasting app seemed too much like a broadcast, so they added a feature that let users join the conversation. Clubhouse has been variously likened to a podcast with audience participation; the 2021 version of AOL’s Instant Messager; and an old-fashioned party line.
The focus on audio, rather than text, photos or videos, is a differentiator and part of the appeal. Delia Cai, of the newsletter Deez Links, wrote of her experience on the app:
“It felt spontaneous, low-commitment and blessedly did not involve turning any kind of camera on.”
If you are an Android user, you can download Clubhouse for Android and sign up now to be alerted once it’s available in your area, and read the FAQ here.