It's tough to get into Clubhouse, pushing some to look for the best Clubhouse alternatives. Yes, ever since Elon Musk shone the spotlight on the app, everyone wants to sign up. The catch? The app is only on iOS and is currently invite-only. Unless you're in the upper echelons of social media, rubbing shoulders with blue checkmarks and influencers, you can pretty much forget about getting in any time soon.
Happily, the idea of a voice-only social media platform is catching on — or perhaps the buzz around Clubhouse has just made companies eager to get in on the action. Regardless of the motivation, there are Clubhouse alternatives out there now for Android and iOS, as well as some in the pipeline from the likes of Facebook and Twitter. The best part is you don't have to wait on invites that are seemingly as hard to acquire as PS5 restock.
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Twitter Spaces is still in beta, with Android users just being added last month. iOS users have access to more features right now, but as the beta grows, we should see parity across both platforms eventually.
Both iOS and Android users have the ability to host their own spaces now, with a cap of 11 people per "room" — including the host. Spaces are public, meaning that anyone can join as a Listener, not just Twitter followers. You can send invites to a Space by sharing the link, whether that's in a tweet, DM, or on another platform or messaging service.
The host decides who gets to speak and when, so it doesn't devolve into a free-for-all. The options for speakers include Everyone, People you follow, and Only people you invite to speak. Once the Space is live, it's up to the host to manage speaking permissions, but Listeners can request to speak using the Request icon. You can find out more about Twitter Spaces on its dedicated website.
If you're used to sending and receiving voice notes, then the concept of riffr won't be all that new to you. The app allows users to record up to three minutes of audio before sending it out into the world. The app touts these as "micro-podcasts," which is a bit of a stretch if you've ever had friends send you their ramblings on messaging services like WhatsApp.
The riffr app timeline os filled with these audio clips, with no way to preview them, but they are separated into categories so you can at least select areas of interest to narrow things down a bit.
Riffr is essentially Twitter, but an audio version. So if that kind of hellscape floats your boat and you want to kick it up a notch with the the added dimension of sound and no way to see what you're letting yourself in for before playing a "riff," this is the app for you. You can download riffr on iOS and Android right now.
Spoon is a bit different than the other Clubhouse alternatives on this list in that it allows users to monetize their content. It's an audio-based livestreaming app that lets users interact in real time.
The options to connect with the community include talk, cast or live. Talk is basically audio messaging with other users on the platform, similar to voice notes. Cast is described as "like a podcast but better." Given that these can be recorded straight from your phone before being broadcast, the quality could be questionable. Live lets users go live, unsurprisingly, and chat directly with listeners.
The downside is that streams are capped at two hours; the upside is that streams are capped at two hours. You may think you want to listen to someone wax lyrical about their topic of choice for that long, but the app has sensibly intervened to save you from yourself; no doubt something you'll inevitably be grateful for once you start exploring. Spoon is available for iOS and Android but is currently limited to certain regions only.
The Leher app is the most similar to Clubhouse, with CEO Vikas Malpani boldly stating, "We want to be better than Clubhouse." The Leher app combines audio and video, and is available on both Android and iOS.
Users can drop in to audio/ video live rooms, browse and join clubs, and can even monetize their content via subscriptions and brand collabs. The app seems geared towards young professionals, with the setup process asking users whether they fall into this bracket, along with a job title and company if the answer is a yes.
You can watch live discussions, catch up on previous ones (similar to watching a livestream on Twitch after the fact), and participate in discussions in video or audio format.
Instagram Live Rooms
While Facebook is beavering away on a Clubhouse clone, it's rolled out some additional features to Instagram Live to ape the audio-only app. While the basics of Instagram Live haven't changed, it's become more social, letting creators interact and collaborate in their feeds.
Rather than being limited to going live with just one other person on a stream, Live Rooms lets you up that number to three other people. The blog post encourages users to "start a talk show, host a jam session or co-create with other artists, host more engaging Q&As or tutorials with your following, or just hang out with more of your friends."
Instagram Live Rooms also has a monetization aspect, with Live viewers being able to purchase badges for hosts, while other interactive features live Shopping and Live Fundraisers provide even more opportunities for brands and businesses.
Fireside was founded by Mark Cuban and Falon Fatemi, and is described as “the future of podcasting.” Rather than passively listening, users can get involved in live interactions, which is where the social element comes in. Creators aren't just limited to live broadcasts, like Clubhouse — they can also record conversations, as well as monetize them.
The app is currently in beta on iOS, but is set to roll out publicly later this year. Unlike some of the other apps on this list, it's not a free-for-all where all users have a voice. According to The Verge, Fireside will be "highly curated" and not "just anyone" will be able to speak publicly.
Listeners can interact if they're invited to join on stage, which echoes Clubhouse's features. Otherwise, they can react to content with emoji, comments and "clapping." Another handy aspect of the platform is that live recordings are saved, so you can revisit them if you missed the livestream. If you're a podcaster, this could be just the platform for you. Otherwise, you're probably going to just frequent Fireside as a listener, so it's not quite on par with what Clubhouse has to offer. You can find out more on the Fireside website.
LinkedIn Live Audio Rooms
Not to be left behind, LinkIn is also working on its own Clubhouse rival called Live Audio Rooms (for now). It's hasn't been rolled out yet but mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared a screenshot of the interface in its current state on Twitter.
A UX mockup was also shared by the company with TechCrunch. The outlet reports that the app has speakers and listeners, just like Clubhouse. Hosts can manage speaking permissions, while listeners can use emotes to interact with speakers. In a statement to the website, LinkedIn said:
"We’re doing some early tests to create a unique audio experience connected to your professional identity. And, we’re looking at how we can bring audio to other parts of LinkedIn such as events and groups, to give our members even more ways to connect to their community."
The beta test for Live Audio Rooms will roll out soon, but we don't have confirmation of whether this will be on both Android and iOS, or limited to one platform initially.
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