The audio social network Clubhouse has been growing in popularity even though it requires an invitation to sign up. Recent appearances from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg have drawn attention to the app, which has seen a sudden increase in downloads in recent weeks. Musk appeared to reveal his support of bitcoin.
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Clubhouse Downloads On The Rise
Data from Apptopia indicates that Clubhouse has been downloaded about 4.7 billion times. The firm adds that the app has been especially growing in the last three months. According to Apptopia, Clubhouse was downloaded 1 million times as of the end of the year. The app is currently only available on iOS. There's no word yet on when it will become available on Android devices.
Clubhouse launched in September in the App Store following months of behind-the-scenes testing by tech insiders. The firm raised about $100 million in Series B funding recently, led by Andreessen Horowitz at a $1 billion valuation.
Concerns About The App
Access still requires an invitation, so its userbase remains fairly small for now. According to Axios, users from a wide range of communities and industries have signed up for it now, although some were initially concerned that it was too exclusive to Silicon Valley insiders. Since then, black influencers and users have been signing up for it regularly, although some remain wary of what the firm's intentions are in attracting them.
A growing number of high-profile tech insiders and business leaders have joined Clubhouse, and some have been critical of the inability to block unwanted listeners like journalists and critics. The firm announced last month that it intends to pay some users who create and lead conversations as it experiments with revenue models.
Audio messaging is becoming a larger and larger part of social media and work due to the pandemic, and Clubhouse is just part of the picture. The Verge reported that Mark Cuban is co-founding a podcast hope that allows hosts to speak with fans live and "monetize their conversations." Additionally, Twitter started testing Spaces, which is similar to Clubhouse.