Clubhouse is no longer exclusive.
The app has ditched its invite-only policy to grant everyone access to its audio chat rooms. Now anyone can host an audio panel about business strategies for sustainable wealth growth.
The update was announced during Clubhouse’s Town Hall on Wednesday. Previously, those who wanted to enter the Clubhouse had to be invited by someone already inside, like being vouched for by a regular at an exclusive club. Now you can simply rock up and jump straight into a room full of men who are in love with Elon Musk, just like a regular bar. All users on Clubhouse’s waitlist are being granted immediate access, with the app available to everyone globally on both iOS and Android.
Clubhouse has long had plans to expand to the general unconnected public, though we had no indication of when that might be until now. In a blog post published last July, Clubhouse co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth stated that the app’s invite system allowed it to grow its community slowly, enabling them to finetune features and fix problems as they arise, as well as putting less strain on their small team. Now it seems they’re finally confident enough to throw the doors wide open.
Clubhouse’s hot new feature is… text
The social media audio app probably could use the burst of new users that opening up will bring. Though Clubhouse enjoyed significant interest in the months after its March 2020 launch, it seems to have cooled off notably since then. Vanity Fair reports that engagement is down in some areas of the app, and downloads of Clubhouse have also noticeably slowed, dropping to below one million in April this year — a far cry from its impressive Japan-driven surge of 9.6 million in February.
The app’s Android release being made available worldwide in May did significantly help figures. Clubhouse’s installation numbers swung back up to 3.7 million in May and 7.7 million in June, with 76 percent of June’s installs coming from India’s marketplaces according to Sensor Tower. But that spike seems to be temporary as well, with this month’s download numbers sinking to 1.7 million as of July 20.
To be fair, the likelihood that people who want to join Clubhouse are already on it increases as time goes on, which would contribute at least a bit to dropping signup numbers. Still, those aren’t figures any app wants to see drop.
Clubhouse also recently made efforts to improve its user experience by adding text messaging feature Backchannel earlier this month. Audio conversations may be Clubhouse’s big drawcard, but convenience is the real appeal of any social media app, and some things are better read than said.
UPDATE: July 22, 2021, 10:32 a.m. AEST This article has been updated with Clubhouse’s installation numbers from May to July.