Audio social network app Clubhouse expands to Android users

Clubhouse began testing an Android version of the app this month. — AFP Relaxnews

Clubhouse, the voice-based social network, is opening its app to Android smartphone users, the company said during its weekly Town Hall discussion hosted on the app.

The buzzy app, which has attracted many celebrity users, lets participants host or listen to live conference-call-style conversations. It has been available to iOS users for a year, and has already seen a boom – and a slowdown – in users. The most frequent product request has been to have Clubhouse available on Android, the company said.

Clubhouse began testing an Android version of the app this month. Starting Sunday, any Android user in the US will be able to download it, though access to the app is still limited to those who are moved off the waitlist or invited by a current user. Other English-speaking markets will gain similar access in the next weeks, followed by other international users.

Clubhouse saw a spike in February of more than nine million downloads but that number dropped to under one million in April, according to data from SensorTower. Even without an Android version of the app, the app’s userbase has grown dramatically this year, though it has also continued to be dogged by criticism that the app doesn't do enough to prevent anti-Semitism and other misconduct on its app. Last week, actor LaKeith Stanfield apologised after moderating a Clubhouse room where users shared anti-Semitic views.

The company has been raising venture capital at a notably quick pace, including several funding rounds led by Andreessen Horowitz. In the most recent round last month, investors valued the company at US$4 billion, in part because of the app’s quick growth and the track record of Clubhouse’s chief executive officer and co-founder, Paul Davison, who has a history of building social apps that push boundaries and capture the public’s attention. – Bloomberg

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