(Reuters) – The Clubhouse live audio app will begin showing a test version of its app to Google’s Android users in the United States on Sunday, the company said, as part of a potentially large expansion of its market .
The app, which gained popularity earlier this year after famous billionaire Elon Musk and others appeared in audio chats, has sparked snaps from startups and big rivals including Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc.
It was only available to Apple device users and by invitation. In some markets like China, invitations were so sought after after some were auctioned off in online marketplaces.
But downloads of the app, a measure of popularity, have declined significantly.
After peaking in February with 9.6 million downloads, that number fell to 2.7 million in March, and then to 900,000 downloads in April, according to Sensor Tower.
This drop raised questions about its long-term viability and whether its success was due in part to people spending more time in their homes during the pandemic.
The long-awaited Android launch is expected to reach more new users around the world. The Android version will hit other English speaking markets and then the rest of the world days and weeks after the beta release of the US market.
Clubhouse, which created the category, now faces Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a host of audio products in April, including Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way for users to find and play. podcasts.
In January, Twitter Inc. announced that it would introduce a new feature that allows users to charge for entry to their live audio chat rooms in its “Spaces” feature, as the company seeks to court more content creators. It has been available for Android users since March.
Reporting by Nandakumar D in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Culliford in New York; Editing by Kenneth Li and Daniel Wallis