Clubhouse comes to Android after being iPhone-only for a year

·2-min read
Oman Clubhouse (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Oman Clubhouse (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Clubhouse, the group-chatting app, has finally made its way onto Android devices after a year of being exclusive to iPhones.

In a blog post announcing the release, Clubhouse said the scale at which users attempted to join its iOS service “caus[ed] widespread server outages and notification failures, and surpassing the limits of our early discovery algorithms”.

The company had to focus on “hiring, fixing, and company building” instead of building the Android app – something which the company has said was an oft-requested feature.

Clubhouse on Android will come to the US in beta, “followed by other English-speaking countries and then the rest of the world”.

For UK users, it is possible to pre-register via the Clubhouse page in the Google Play Store to be notified when the app is available.

Clubhouse initially launched on iPhones as invitation-only, and Android will be the same. “We will be continuing the waitlist and invite system, ensuring that each new community member can bring along a few close friends”, Clubhouse says, as part of its attempt to “keep the growth measured”.

However, the invite-only method has, historically, brought with it privacy problems. Users on iOS were encouraged to hand over access to their contacts, so that it can see who you might already know on Clubhouse and invite others who are not.

This meant that Clubhouse was nudging users to invite people they actively tried to avoid, as well as complete strangers.

Clubhouse on Android will have much competition from Twitter’s own Spaces feature, Discord’s ‘Stage Channels’, and various audio competitors from Spotify, Slack, LinkedIn, and others.

Reddit officially unveiled a Clubhouse clone called Reddit Talk, where users can chat via voice in the social media app’s subreddits, while Facebook is building a host of new audio tools as part of a focus on “audio storytelling”.

Clubhouse was founded in May 2020 and was reportedly valued at $100 million (£73m) at that time. It was also reported in December that it currently has 600,000 registered users.

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