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Clubhouse begins external testing of its Android application – TechCrunch

Clubhouse, the voice networking app that’s now being phased out by all major tech platforms, is bringing its service to Android. The company announced at its weekly Townhall event that its Android version has entered beta testing with a handful of non-employees who will provide feedback ahead of a public launch.

In its release notes, Clubhouse referred to this test as involving a “rough beta” being rolled out to a group of “friendly testers”. This means that there is no way for the general public to sign up for the Android app yet.

The absence of an Android client combined with its invitation system initially gave Clubhouse an aura of exclusivity. You had to know someone to get in, then you would need an iOS device to participate. But the delay in providing access to Android users also gave larger competitors time to catch up with Clubhouse and court users who were being left behind. One of the biggest rivals, Facebook, recently challenged Clubhouse on all of its platforms and services, in fact.

Facebook announced a comprehensive audio strategy including a range of new products, ranging from short form audio clips to a direct Clubhouse clone that works on Facebook and Messenger. He also announced a way for Instagram Live users to turn off their video and mute their mics, like in Clubhouse. Even Facebook’s R&D division has tested an alternative to the Clubhouse, Hotline, which offers a sort of mashup between the popular audio app and Instagram Live, with more questions and answers.

Meanwhile, Twitter continues to expand its functionality of audio rooms, Twitter spaces, and there are also Clubhouse alternatives from Reddit, LinkedIn, Spotify, Discord, Telegram, and others.

For Clubhouse, that means now is the time to push for growth – especially since there are already signs that its initial hype is fading. According to intelligence firm Apptopia, Clubhouse has seen around 13.5 million downloads on iOS to date, but the number of daily downloads is on the decline, reflecting a drop in the number of daily active users.

Image credits: Apptopia

Apptopia data shows that daily active Clubhouse users are down 68% from the February 2021 high, although that doesn’t necessarily mean Clubhouse is over – it’s becoming less of a daily habit. However, if the company is able to grow its creator community and establish a number of popular shows, which it aims to do through its accelerator, it could still see users logging in on a weekly basis. and monthly. And those sessions would be longer compared to other social apps, as Clubhouse users often tune in to shows that are longer than an hour – even leaving the app open while they perform other tasks.

Additionally, Clubhouse is addressing the challenges of re-engaging people whose usage may have declined in recent days. Also at its town hall, the company announced that it will introduce a bell icon for events that will allow users to be notified of events to which they have responded. This will also be important for the creators who advertise their events.

Clubhouse did not give a specific time frame as to when its Android app would reach more testers or the general public, noting only that it looked forward to welcoming more Android users in the “coming weeks.” In March, Clubhouse said it would take a few months for Android to launch.

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