Clubhouse opens membership to all users

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The live audio room app Clubhouse is no longer invite-only, the company announced Wednesday, ending the platform’s year-long beta stage.

Users on both iOS and Android will now be able to make accounts and join the app, which exploded in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, without needing the referral of an existing member.

“It’s been a rollercoaster first half of the year, and we’ve emerged much bigger than we were in January,” co-founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth wrote in a blog post.

The change comes a week after Clubhouse launched Backchannel, a direct-messaging product on the platform.

Further big updates will be shipped every few weeks, the company said in the blog.

Since Clubhouse’s emergence on the scene, it has attracted a fair amount of competitors, with Twitter and Facebook both launching their own live audio room features.

Opening up membership will help the company pick up the pace of its growth to compete with the larger existing platforms.

“The invite system has been an important part of our early history,” the blog reads. “By adding people in waves, welcoming new faces each week in our Wednesday Orientations, and talking with the community each Sunday in Town Hall, we’ve been able to grow Clubhouse in a measured way, and keep things from breaking as we’ve scaled.”

“But we’ve always wanted Clubhouse to be open,” it continues. “Everyone in the world should have access to meaningful conversations.”

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