Android users in the USA can join the invite-only Clubhouse, more than a year after the social audio app debuted.
At its weekly "town hall" meeting Sunday, Clubhouse founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth are likely to announce that the popular app will be available for American Android users in beta mode.
"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," Davison and Seth said 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."
Clubhouse's Android arrival comes after more than 10 million downloads on Apple's operating system.
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Clubhouse competition rears its head
Facebook said last month it will soon roll out a series of audio features including Live Audio Rooms that allow users to listen and participate in live conversations, similar to Clubhouse, and Soundbites, in which users can create and share short audio clips. Last week, Twitter announced its audio chat product called Spaces for users who have more than 600 followers.
The anticipated competition for Clubhouse appears after the social audio phenomenon exploded during the pandemic as people looked for ways to socialize with each other besides video chats and conference calls.
At Clubhouse, members can feel like they are either eavesdropping on conversations or exchanging ideas with power players and celebs – for free. Chats can go on for hours in a world mostly frustrated and weary with being socially isolated and worn out from attending videoconference meetings all day long.
Clubhouse has grown exponentially since last fall with such notables as Elon Musk, Oprah Winfrey and even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The company admitted in its blog Sunday that "the load stressed our systems – causing widespread server outages and notification failures, and surpassing the limits of our early discovery algorithms."
Davison and Seth have repeatedly said the company has to focus on hiring help to fix its issues instead of adding features. "It was an important time of investment, which we think will help us serve the community much better in the long run," the founders said in the blog post.
Clubhouse said it will soon allow Android users in other English-speaking countries, then globally. The company said it will continue to get feedback, add users on the waitlist to join the app on Apple's iOS and eventually add features such as payments and club creation.
The company said it has seen global growth in its chat rooms, including rural Georgia farmers interacting with entrepreneurs in Tanzania, film clubs forming in India, debate rooms in Germany and quiz shows originating in the Middle East.
"We've seen firsthand what we’ve always believed – that the need to gather with other humans is universal," the company blog said. "Throughout this period, we have felt the need to be cross-platform more strongly than ever."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Clubhouse app for Android users is available in the US