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As downloads take a nosedive, Clubhouse to launch Android app today

Live audio app Clubhouse will begin introducing a test version of its app to Google's Android users in the United States on Sunday, in a potentially big expansion of its market.

Apple's App Store page for the social media app Clubhouse is displayed on a smartphone screen in Beijing, 
Apple's App Store page for the social media app Clubhouse is displayed on a smartphone screen in Beijing,  (AP)

Live audio app Clubhouse will begin introducing a test version of its app to Google's Android users in the United States on Sunday, the company said, in a potentially big expansion of its market.

The app, which spiked in popularity early this year after celebrity billionaire Elon Musk and others appeared in audio chats, has sparked copy cats from startups and larger rivals including Facebook and Twitter.

Also read: Clubhouse for Android enters beta, but users won't be able to access it easily

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It has been available only to users of Apple devices and by invitation. In some markets such as China, invitations were so sought after some were auctioned on online marketplaces.

But downloads of the app, one measure of popularity, have significantly fallen.

After peaking in February with 9.6 million downloads, that number fell to 2.7 million in March and then 900,000 downloads in April, according to Sensor Tower.

The drop has sparked questions about its long term viability and whether its success was owed in part to people spending more time at home during the pandemic.

The long-anticipated Android launch is expected to reach more new users globally. The Android version will reach other English-speaking markets and then the rest of the globe days and weeks after the US market beta launch.

Read more: Spotify plans hiring spree in bid to challenge Clubhouse

Clubhouse, which created the category, now faces the likes of Facebook, whose CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in April a slew of audio products, including Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way for users to find and play podcasts.

In January, Twitter said that it will introduce a new feature to let users charge admission to their live audio chat rooms in its "Spaces" feature, as the company seeks to court more content creators. It has been available to Android users since March.

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