Clubhouse Android app to launch in India on May 21

Bengaluru: Clubhouse, an invite-only social audio app, will launch its Android app in India and other markets on May 21 (Friday), a week after it
launched a beta version in the US.

The Andreessen Horowitz-backed startup said on Twitter that it will roll out the Android app in Japan, Brazil, and Russia on Tuesday; India and Nigeria on Friday morning, and the rest of the world by Friday afternoon. Last week, it launched the Android app in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

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Clubhouse is still taking a measured approach with its Android app launch. Last week, the company said it will stick to its waitlist and invite system on Android for now and open it up further in the coming months.

This is because the company says it grew much quicker than expected, partly owing to the pandemic. “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,” Clubhouse said
in a blog post. “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.”

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An Android app is crucial for Clubhouse to get a much-needed user boost as its downloads have slipped in recent months. Clubhouse clocked only 922,000 downloads globally in April, a 66% dip from 2.7 million installs in March and 9.6 million in February, according to Sensor Tower.

That said, Clubhouse’s current Android app is quite barebones in terms of features as compared to its iOS counterpart at present. The app doesn’t allow users to link their social profiles, change their profile name, follow a topic, or create or manage a club.

In recent months, Clubhouse has
raised back-to-back funding from investors Andreessen Horowitz, DST Global and Tiger Global among others and is currently valued at $4 billion, a four-fold jump from its $1 billion valuation when it raised a reported $100 million in Series B funding in January.

However, the social audio segment has attracted attention from several tech companies such as Twitter, Discord, Facebook, Spotify, Reddit, LinkedIn, Slack, Telegram, which have either launched or are working on their own competing products. Twitter’s social audio service Spaces currently allows all users in India to host a “Space”. Outside India, Twitter users with 600 or more followers are able to host a Space.



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