Clubhouse launches Android beta app after iOS downloads drop significantly
After more than a year of iOS exclusivity, Clubhouse is finally coming to Android. The only catch is that the beta Android version is restricted to US users at the moment. Like the iOS version, the Android beta will continue its yacht club-esque invite-only model. Essentially, the US-based Android users can download the beta app from the Play Store provided they have an invite.
Clubhouse had hired an Android developer in February and confirmed in March that it is working on an Android app. However, the timing for the seemingly rushed Android app development could be explained by the iOS downloads taking a nosedive in recent months. Clubhouse peaked at 9.5 million downloads in February, which fell to 2.7 million in March, followed by just 900,000 in April.
Clubhouse explained in its blog post that it is using the geo-restrictions and invite-model to control its growth and prevent the platform from collapsing, as it shores up its infrastructure. The US beta program will eventually be rolled-out to other English-speaking regions. Such Android users can pre-register for the App to join the waitlist and receive alerts when the app becomes available.
"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," Clubhouse wrote in its blog post.
Despite the ten-fold decrease in downloads, the company's blog still claims that it will improve infrastructure in order to welcome millions of iOS users stuck in waitlists. That doesn't make much sense given the fact that iOS downloads have evidently reduced in the last few months. The loosening pandemic lockdowns in the US could also be a factor, as people can now connect offline.
Pressure from tech giants such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Spotify, Reddit, and Discord, which are either working on or have launched Clubhouse clones, reflects in the platform's declining download numbers. Clubhouse fast-tracking its Android app should help matters, as the Android ecosystem is the largest untapped mobile space where it can add more users. So far, only Twitter and Reddit have launched clones.