Just like TikTok a while back, Clubhouse’s popularity is forcing many competitors in the social networking space to come up with their own killer audio-only service. The fact that Clubhouse has ruffled bigger players’ feathers while still being limited in reach is nothing short of a miracle but its lead isn’t going to last long. Android users are starting to clamor for their chance and the young social network has finally started the road towards its expansion, at least for a chosen few.
The way Clubhouse works is almost genius in its simplicity and that’s probably how it was able to gather so much popularity. It did only one thing and did it well, offering an audio-only social space at the height of “Zoom fatigue” caused by a surge in video conferences and chats. Since then, Facebook has launched its own “social audio” initiative while other networks try to give their own audio-only spaces with certain twists.
Despite being popular, Clubhouse has actually a relatively small number of users because of how it currently works. It’s invite-only for now and limited to iOS users only. While there are, of course, many iPhones out there, there are just as many Android phones as well. It was recently revealed that Clubhouse has indeed been starting to work on an Android version of the app since January and a beta seems already available to some extent.
Clubhouse’s latest release notes as of May 2 reveals that a “rough beta” of the Android app has already been made available to a handful of “friendly” testers. Just like Clubhouse itself, access to that beta is still exclusive to a few but the developers are planning a slightly wider rollout in the weeks ahead.
An Android app is a long time coming, of course, and Clubhouse definitely needs to step up its game to survive. It hasn’t become widely available yet but bigger names like Facebook and Twitter are already marching into that space. There are, of course, also other platforms like Telegram and even Instagram that are adding audio-only features to compete as well.