After more than a year of iOS exclusivity, social audio platform Clubhouse is releasing its Android app. It will be available in beta on Google’s mobile OS today in the US, allowing users to sign up and participate in its audio-only chat rooms.
“Our plan over the next few weeks 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,” the company said in a blog post.
The Android app, which the company says has been the top request from its community by far, will roll out to other English-speaking markets and the rest of the world in the days and weeks ahead, the company said. Users outside the US will be able to pre-register for access via the Clubhouse page in the Google Play store, to be notified when the Android app is available in their area.
However, Clubhouse says the platform will remain invite-only for now, meaning it’s still not open to just anyone, “as part of the effort to keep the growth measured,” the company said in a statement. Over the summer, the company plans to begin migrating what it says are millions of iOS users who have been waitlisted while the company built the app’s infrastructure.
Despite limited access Clubhouse has generated significant buzz, thanks in part to its early popularity with the venture-capital crowd dotted around Silicon Valley. The company was recently valued at $4 billion after a new funding round.
However, this early excitement has meant multiple big tech firms are interested in launching similar audio features of their own. Twitter has already rolled out its own Spaces feature, Discord has added Stage Channels, and Facebook, Spotify, Slack, LinkedIn, and Reddit are all at varying stages of adding similar audio-only features to their services.
The company acknowledged in its post announcing the Android app that the platform had grown faster than expected. “This had its downsides, as the load stressed our systems—causing widespread server outages and notification failures, and surpassing the limits of our early discovery algorithms,” the post stated. “It made us shift our focus to hiring, fixing, and company building, rather than the community meetups and product features that we normally like to focus on.”
With more than a year under its belt, Clubhouse has turned its attention to attracting creators to its platform, and recently announced the results of an accelerator program which will see it fund 50 audio shows on the platform. Now, with its release on Android, Clubhouse is finally letting US users with an invite on the biggest smartphone OS in the world get involved.