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Clubhouse finally arrives on Android — but there's a catch

Clubhouse
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Clubhouse has been exclusively available on iOS since launch, but the app is heading to Android users as part of a closed beta. The audio-only social media app has been a big hit — especially since Elon Musk hosted an interview on the platform that saw interest skyrocket.

Clubhouse's exclusivity is further limited by the fact that it's still invite-only, making it even more tantilizing. And now select Android users can join the upper echelons of social media users on the app.     

The latest release notes list some improvements for Clubhouse on iOS, as well as announcing the expansion to Android with the closed beta. Testing on the platform has only just begun, and is described as "rough" so the experience sounds like it needs a considerable amount of refining before it's ready for a wider audience.  

"Android is not yet live, but we started rolling a rough beta version out to a handful of friendly testers," reads the post. "If you hear someone saying they are using Clubhouse on the official Android app, please give them a warm welcome! We cannot wait to welcome more Android users to Clubhouse over the coming weeks."

There's no news on how Android users can go about signing up for the beta, or how the users for the rollout are being decided. But with the beta growing over the course of the month, hopefully we'll get an idea of when a full Android rollout might happen soon. 

Clubhouse's continued exclusive status on iOS is a potentially divisive decision. The invite-only format means the app is restricted to a select few, and a number of them are already-verified users on platforms like Twitter. While this makes it appear like a desirable commodity, shutting out the masses to cater to blue checkmarks isn't necessarily a winning formula either. It also opens up the floodgates to copycat apps, which offer Clubhouse alternatives on both iOS and Android that are available to everyone.     

With platforms like Facebook, Telegram, and Spotify creating their own Clubhouse rivals, keeping the majority of potential users off the platform isn't going to be the best approach when they start going live. According to Business Insider, Clubhouse downloads in April plummeted to 922,000 which is a huge drop compared to February's 9.6 million figure. The Android beta may be the beginning of a mass rollout, but we'll have to wait and see.  

  • More: Clubhouse app: How to get invites, Android version and more
Shabana Arif

Shabana is T3's News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). As well as contributing to Tom's Guide, she's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies.