Clubhouse, the infamously exclusive audio chat app, just removed a barrier for entry. It’s no longer exclusive to iPhone, now that a beta version of the app has arrived on Google Play (opens in new tab).
The app has just launched on Android in the U.S., though Clubhouse has promised it will be rolling out to other English speaking countries and the rest of the world.
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The downside is that Clubhouse is sticking to its invite-only system, which means you won’t be able to just drop in and join the service whenever you feel like it. The idea behind this is ”part of an effort to keep the growth measured”.
In other words, Clubhouse is making sure there isn’t a surge of new users that overwhelms the service. Since Clubhouse has already had issues with moderation, artificially limiting growth presumably ensures that moderators will be able to keep on top of things.
According to Clubhouse, its next job 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”.
Features that are missing include in-app translations, localization features, the ability to create and manage clubs, the option to follow a topic, the ability to change profile and user names and more. They’re not massive in the grand scheme of things, but they do add up. And they need sorting out before the service is made available to the masses.
Part of that broader rollout will be bringing Clubhouse to Android users outside the U.S. This summer will also see the company migrate millions of iOS users who had to be put on a waitlist while Clubhouse worked on its infrastructure.
The question is whether this is going to do much for Clubhouse. The app’s popularity has been waning in recent weeks, in part thanks to its exclusivity but also thanks to copycat services from other social media companies. Because why sit on a Clubhouse waitlist when you can use equivalent services on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or wherever else?
U.S. readers can head over to Google Play and download the Clubhouse beta (opens in new tab) right now, though you will either need an existing account or know someone who can hand over an invite. Readers in the rest of the world can ‘pre-register’ and sign up for updates as and when they’re available.
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