Clubhouse, the social network for sound communication – without messages, images or videos – has launched its version worldwide for mobile devices with the Android operating system (developed by Google and the majority in the market). The announcement comes a little over a year after the application was successful on iOS devices (Apple’s mobile operating system). Android was the great unfinished business of Clubhouse. According to the latest data recorded by the technology consultancy IDC, devices with this operating system represented just over 86% of the units distributed in 2019 in the world and Apple’s iOS almost the remaining 14%.
The application had already been released in a trial version for some Android devices and only in the United States. Now, Clubhouse has gone for it all. Its expansion began on Tuesday through Mexico, Central America, Brazil, Europe, Japan and Russia. This Friday it reaches Asian and African countries, such as Nigeria and India and the rest of the world. Of course, the application will continue to maintain one of its strongest peculiarities: its entry-by-invitation structure to maintain “a measured approach to growth,” as Clubhouse sources explain to Europa Press.
While the big news is Android, there is also news for iOS users. Clubhouse has decided to include in the application a list of people who have made payments to a user and will allow tagging people in the profile as well as using a tool to find people that the user has listened to in a room in the last 10 days. Clubhouse has ensured that it works on Android to include “feature parity” with iOS.
Late or on time?
Nobody doubts the success of Clubhouse. The application managed, just seven months after its launch, to register 600,000 registered users despite the fact that it could only be accessed by invitation and that it was a new and exclusive audio format available only for smartphones with operating system iOS. Eight months later, in December 2020, the company was valued at $ 100 million and a month later, in January, when the application began to become popular in Latin America and Europe, it reached $ 1 billion.
But how soon is Clubhouse coming with this worldwide expansion? The application format was so successful that more popular and strong social networks immediately copied it. Thus, just a year later, Twitter inaugurated Spaces and Facebook opens in summer Live Audio Rooms. In addition, Reddit already announced the premiere RedditTalk, Discord of Stage and Telegram of Voicechats 2.0. With five knock-offs in 12 months that will work on both Android and iOS, the question is whether Clubhouse was late to its own party.
“They arrive now, when many users can already use Spaces and when it is known that other social networks, with many more millions of users, are also going to launch their own meeting rooms. audiochat. That is why we think that he is late, because he does so when the boom and he has lost all the advantage that he could have achieved, since his downloads and interest have fallen dramatically “, explains Manuel Moreno, social media consultant and founder of ThirteenBits.
He is seconded by Pavel Sidorenko Bautista, professor of New Narratives and social media consultant. But the professor also sees the Clubhouse competition as an opportunity for the social network. “The problem with platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which increasingly bring together more formats, is that they seek to embrace more and more narrative alternatives, and with this it is difficult to concentrate efforts on offering a good product,” Sidorenko details.
Why has Clubhouse made it to Android so far? Moreno explains that it is due to the small structure of the company. “They had to hire developers to be able to make the application on Android when they saw the success and made money. They have worked at forced marches, but they have not been able to do much more ”, he suggests. Sidorenko, on the other hand, sees similarities between the Clubhouse case and Instagram. “It should be remembered that Instagram in its beginnings was also launched in the first instance only for iOS devices. At that time it was stated that it was easier to program the application for this operating system than for Android ”, he recalls. “Maybe Clubhouse took a little longer than desired, because it was confident. But given the evidence of success as a format and the onslaught of the competition, they have seen the need to specify the global deployment ”, the professor emphasizes.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.