Thursday, 22 July 2021 23:39

Clubhouse leaves beta, now available to all on iOS and Android

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Clubhouse styles itself as "the leading social audio platform", and after a 16 month beta, mostly on iOS and then recently on Android, and it has announced that it has dropped the invite/waitlist system for the, so anyone can join, tune in and participate.

Clubhouse. The company says it provides "a more human place on the Internet, where people come together for great conversation,” and claims it is “home to hundreds of thousands of discussions on every topic under the sun — from SCUBA diving to social justice, crypto to comic books, fashion, backpacking, Japanese language, morning news shows, meditation, movie clubs, book clubs, and so much more.”

It’s all unfolding in real time from all around the world, and Clubhouse says you can “sit back and quietly listen, raise your hand to chime in, or host your own rooms. Whether you’re talking with your closest friends or making new ones, it’s a place where you can experience unforgettable moments with other humans, and leave feeling better than when you arrived”, whether you’re using an iPhone or an Android.

Clubhouse tells us the invite system was a key element in its growth, as it acted as a testflight for the application. To ensure the app would support the community as it grew, the invite/waitlist system was deployed as a mechanism to manage growth while the founders (Paul and Rohan) built a team and the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the next wave of community members.

It's key to also point out that only last week Clubhouse also launched Backchannel - a chat function that allows public, group or 1:1 chat on the app to support the audio.

Here's the Opening Day blog post from the founders:

Check 1...2...3. Is this thing on? We published this first blog post a year ago, back when Clubhouse was just the two of us, a rough prototype, and a small, incredible community of beta testers. We had been thinking about how to build a new, more human place on the Internet — where everyone could come to talk, have fun, share in meaningful moments, deepen friendships, and learn. So much good comes out of conversation, and we wanted there to be more of it in the world.

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. If you have a club, you can post your link far and wide. If you are a creator with an audience, you can bring them all on. If you’re hosting a public event, anyone can attend. You can bring close friends, classmates, family members, coworkers, and anyone else you like — on iOS or Android.

The invite system has been an important part of our early history. By adding people in waves, welcoming new faces each week in our Wednesday Orientations, and talking with the community each Sunday in Town Hall, we’ve been able to grow Clubhouse in a measured way, and (mostly ? ) keep things from breaking as we’ve scaled. But we’ve always wanted Clubhouse to be open. Everyone in the world should have access to meaningful conversations. And the best rooms on Clubhouse are the ones where you meet people from far outside your social circle, with very different views and lived experiences, who change your perspective on the world.

It’s been a rollercoaster first half of the year, and we’ve emerged much bigger than we were in January. Our team has gone from 8 people to 58. The number of daily rooms has grown from 50k to half a million. We’ve added 10M people to the community since we launched Android in mid-May, and seen 90M DMs sent since we launched Backchannel last week.

The average listener now spends over an hour a day on Clubhouse, and a huge percentage of people don’t just listen, but actually talk. That’s our favorite part of the whole thing. Meanwhile the breadth of communities and clubs continues to grow each day, across the world, in all sorts of surprising ways. It’s incredibly exciting, but we know we have a lot more to do, and much more to build over the coming weeks, months and years.

We know there will be many more ups and downs as we scale, and competition from the large networks will be fierce. But we believe the future is created by optimists — and we’re excited to keep working to build a different kind of social network. Our plan as always will be to stay heads down on product and focused on the community, making Clubhouse steadily better for them each day. To help with this, we’ll be growing our team quite a bit, so if you’re interested in building with us, we’d love to hear from you.

After 16 months, a company should probably have a logo too, so we finally got one of those, along with a new website that Molly and Aaron designed last week, with the one and only Justin “Meezy” Williams representing the Clubhouse community as our new app icon. (? Hi Meezy!)

The new release is out today on iOS and Android, and we’ll be shipping big new updates for you every 1-2 weeks.

That’s it for now. Thank you for being part of the Clubhouse community — now open to all! :)

- Paul, Rohan and the Clubhouse team

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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