Clubhouse app now allows anyone to join as competition grows

Clubhouse app now allows anyone to join as competition grows

As competition in audio chat services grows, live audio app Clubhouse has removed its invite system to allow anyone to join the platform, the company said.

The social app, which saw explosive early growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, previously required people to be invited by an existing user or request to join a waitlist.

Clubhouse said in a blog post that it had always planned to open up the app but that invites had been a way of “tempering user numbers”.

“Twelve never-boring months later, we’re thrilled to share that Clubhouse is now out of beta, open to everyone, and ready to begin its next chapter. This means we have removed our waitlist system so that anyone can join,” Clubhouse said in a blog post.

Clubhouse faces new competition from social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, as well as streaming company Spotify, which have launched similar audio chat services.

“We know there will be many more ups and downs as we scale, and competition from the large networks will be fierce,” the company wrote in its post.

The Clubhouse app was initially available only for iOS and the company says it added 10 million users since launching on Android in May.

Estimates from analytics firm Sensor Tower found the app had reached about 7.8 million global installs in June, up from 3.7 million the previous month.

Clubhouse, which said its team had expanded since January from 8 to 58 people, also recently introduced the ‘Backchannel’ feature which allows users to send direct messages on the platform. The company said around 90 million direct messages were sent since the launch of Backchannel.

Apart from messaging friends on the platform, the feature is aimed at helping speakers coordinate with co-hosts or exchange questions from the audience.