News & Events, Tech

The exclusive Clubhouse is finally open to the public

Many have been waiting a long time for this.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 8, 2021

Clubhouse is no longer as private or exclusive as it used to be when it first started. After much debate, the app has removed its invite-only policy and now allows everyone to use its audio chat groups. Anyone can now conduct an audio panel discussion.

 

In late July, the change was announced in Clubhouse’s Town Hall. Previously, people who wanted to enter or experience Clubhouse had to be invited by someone who was already there, similar to being vouched for by a regular at a private club. You may now virtually “walk” into a room full of people who are madly obsessed with a specific topic, just like you would at a regular pub. All users on Clubhouse’s waitlist were given immediate access and the app is available worldwide on iOS and Android.

 

Why change now?

Clubhouse has always planned to open its virtual doors to the general public, but no one had any idea when that would happen, until now. Clubhouse co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth wrote in a blog post last July that the app’s invite mechanism allowed them to build their community slowly, which in turn allowed them to finetune features and fix problems as they arose while also putting less load on their small crew. They appear to have gained enough confidence to fling the doors wide open now.

 

Download numbers

The influx of new users that this change in policy will bring will most likely benefit the social media audio app. Though Clubhouse drew a lot of attention in the months following its March 2020 launch, it appears to have slowed down significantly since then. App engagement has been down in some locations, and Clubhouse downloads have slowed, dipping to around one million in April this year, a far cry from the app’s remarkable spike of 9.6 million in February.

 

With the app’s Android rollout, made available worldwide in May, it aided stats tremendously. Clubhouse’s installation numbers increased to 3.7 million in May and 7.7 million in June. However, that increase appears to be only temporary, since the number of downloads for this month has dropped.

 

Clubhouse also just improved its user experience by introducing Backchannel, a text messaging option, last month. Clubhouse’s main selling point is its audio talks, but any social media app’s primary attraction is its ease, and some things are better read than stated.

 

Read more here on a firsthand account of sitting in a Clubhouse Chat Room and how Clubhouse is missing an entire audience with its accessibility issue.

 

Photo via NurPhoto via Getty Images