Audio-only group chat app Clubhouse was extremely popular at the beginning of the year. At the time, the app, which requires an invitation to join, was only available in the Apple App Store. In late March, Clubhouse founder Paul Davison said that an Android version of the app was still months away, but today Clubhouse announced
that a beta version of its Android app has become available on the Google Play Store.
The app certainly needs the boost that will occur from being available on the platform that the vast majority of smartphone users around the world have installed on their devices. Consider that in February, the app was installed 9.6 million times worldwide with 2.7 million installs rung up during the following month. But in April, that number dropped to 922,000 downloads globally.
A beta-version of Clubhouse is now available in the Google Play Store although invites are still required
Without the necessary invitation, all you can do with the Android app is reserve your username and get put on a waiting list. Eventually, the invitations will disappear and Clubhouse will be open for anyone to join. But at the moment, without an invite, you are not getting into the clubhouse regardless of the platform you are using.
Clubhouse for Android is now available in the Google Play Store
"With Android, we believe that Clubhouse will feel more complete. We are so grateful to all of the Android users out there for their patience," co-founders Davison and Rohan Seth wrote in a company blog post. "Whether you are a creator, a club organizer, or someone who just wants to explore, we are so excited to welcome you to the community."
The early success of Clubhouse has spawned a number of copycats including Twitter's Spaces. It seems that all of the big social media names want to have a presence in this space so the competition is going to continue to pick up. Clubhouse still has the advantage of being first although its invitation system might feel like a big turn-off to those who would love to be using the app right away.
Still, this has been Clubhouse's plan from the beginning. As it pointed out in today's blog post, "We’ve always taken a measured approach to growth, keeping the team small, building in public, and getting feedback from the community along the way. When you scale communities too quickly, things can break. So we started Clubhouse on a single platform and have expanded gradually through an invite model."
Being placed on the waiting list can help you snag an invite, or if you know an existing user, you can ask him or her for one. The app is launching today in the U.S. followed by other English-speaking countries, and then the rest of the world. Clubhouse says that over the next few weeks, it plans to ask for feedback from the community, fix issues, and add new features such as "payments and club creation."
You can now install the Clubhouse for Android beta from the Google Play Store, but be careful. There is already an app called Clubhouse that has nothing to do with the one we are looking for. So make sure that you search for Clubhouse: Drop-in Audio Chat. To save you some time, simply tap right here
. The iOS version of Clubhouse, also using the title Clubhouse: Drop-in Audio Chat, can be installed from the Apple App Store
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Clubhouse and for the format of audio-only group chat.